‘These are not my ideal living conditions’: My husband and I live in his mother’s house. She will leave it to him when he dies. Do I have a right to this house?

Dear Quentin,

I have lived in my husband’s family home for 10 years. We have been married for almost nine years. The house belongs to my mother-in-law. She has the house in trust for my husband at the time of his death. She named my only son as second in case something happened to my husband, her only child.

At the time of my mother-in-law’s death, what right, if any, do I have to the house? If my husband won’t put me on the title deed to the house, what will I do if he gets sick and my son is a minor? If my husband won’t put me on the deed, how am I going to put money into the house to upgrade it etc. ?

It’s not wise to put money in a house that’s not in my name. He will be alone. I told my husband that I don’t think this is right and these are not my ideal living conditions. I want to be in control of what happens at home with my husband. Do I have a right to the house when this point arises and it becomes owner?

He offered that we buy his mother’s house or we buy our own. I live in upstate New York. Please help me!

wife and daughter-in-law

Dear woman,

If your husband is to inherit this house from his mother, it makes no sense to buy it. But if it gives you peace of mind, you might consider buying a house together, depending on your finances. If and when your husband inherits this house, it will be his alone unless he decides to put your name on the deed.

Inheritance is not considered marital/community property, even if you inherit during your marriage. Your husband could bequeath his house to you in his will. If he died without a will in New York State, you would inherit the first $50,000 of his intestate estate, plus 50% of the balance; the rest would go to your son.

There are other ways to merge this property: if you have contributed to major improvements that increase the value of the house, for example. “Transmutation is a change in property status from separated to marital,” according to this blog post by Bikel, Rosenthal & Schanfield.

“In New York, transmutation can occur when one spouse takes money from a separate property and deposits it into a joint account with the other spouse who has a right of survivorship attached to the account,” the law firm adds. lawyers. “By doing this, the funds transmute and become joint matrimonial property.”

The good news is that you have many options and your husband is ready to explore them. It seems fairer for your husband to buy a house together. If your marriage went south and you were the only one to inherit the house, you might be glad you kept it as separate property. But I understand that it is you who write – not him.

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