If I’m a recent widow grownwith grownstepchildren who now have1/2 interestin my home, who is responsible for paying the mortgage, taxes and insurance?

UPDATED: Dec 31, 2011

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If I’m a recent widow grownwith grownstepchildren who now have1/2 interestin my home, who is responsible for paying the mortgage, taxes and insurance?

My husband was killed 6 months ago. My 2 grown stepchildren filed affadavits of heirship shortly after his death. They now have half ownership in my house. I have right to occupy it until I die, according to state law. I still owe mortgage on it. Are the stepchildren responsible for any of the expenses of principal, interest, taxes, or insurance since they now have 1/2 interest in the property? Can my 2 children inherit my half of the property when I die? I have been making all payments and taxes and insurance since my husband was killed.

Asked on December 31, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that have arisen.  I wish that I could look at all the documents involved here to see what transpired.  You did not own your house with rights of survivorship?  That seems odd.  From what I can tell here from what you have written is that the mortgage is in your and your husband's name, correct?  Then according to the bank it is your problem and the problem of your husband's estate.  But I think that you could try and ask for a set off of the payments made against the value upon the satisfaction of the mortgage and the sale of the house.  The taxes and insurance - as well as the upkeep and maintenance -however, may be a different matter and I think that you could indeed request that they pay a portion now.  Yes, you can leave your half to your kids.  You really need to seek help from an attorney as soon as possible.  Good luck.

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