what are my legal rights if a property is left for life usage

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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what are my legal rights if a property is left for life usage

I was with a partner for 15 years and he died suddenly. his will states I have full life use of the home and contents that we built and resided. Also any tangible personal property owned by him at time of death would be mine to dispose as I choose and any cost involved would be reimbursed by the estate. My question is if his three children own the residence per his will what are my legal rights if they decide to sell or what are my rights if I’m paying all the expensesproperty taxes,insurance, maintenance feesthe estate has not been settled and he passed away February, 2015. We also had a home in
Florida for over 10 years that the children would not let me take over the mortgage and expenses or reside there.

Asked on October 19, 2017 under Estate Planning, New York


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  It sounds as if you were granted a "life estate" in the property you are talking about (not the Florida property).  So in New York you can live there until you die and yes, you have to maintain it as well unless the Will provides otherwise for the taxes, etc.   AS for the Florida property, not enough information is given her.  Florida has strange homestead laws and if the house was not in your name then likely you are not entitled to it.  Please seek legal help here.  This is very complicated for this type of forum.  Wills need to be read and questions asked.  Good luck.

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