Am I entitled to 25% of the house my father and his second wife owned, if she died and it is now in her son’s name?

My mother and father had 2 children, my sister and I. They then divorced. Both remarried; he with a woman with a son by another man. My father passed away with a house in his and second wife’s name. She then removed him and it was in her name. She subsequently passed away and her son immediately put the property in his name. He did ask if he could live in the house without issue. My reply was as long as you live there and do not sell it or rent it out I am OK with that. However, if you sell or rent, I expect my fair share of compensation – 50% his, 25% my sister’s and 25% mine. He verbally agreed but now, many years later, he is talking about selling the property.

Asked on May 29, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Who the house goes to depends on the title documents and the will left by your father... if one was left.
If the title had 'right of survivorship' language, then then house would have automatically passed to his new wife upon your father's death, regardless of what your father's will provided.  From there, the house would go the heirs of his wife, not your father's heirs.  If you are listed as her heir in her will... then you will be entitled to a portion of the house.  If you are not listed as an heir, then you will not inherit.
If the title transfer was not automatic, then the will controls who gets what.  If there was no will, then the house would go to your father's heirs as provided by statute.  So... the house, in that situation could be partially yours as you were an heir of your father.
To know exactly what you are entitled to, take the deed and any will documents to a probate attorney so they may trace how and who the house passed to at each juncture.

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