What are a beneficary’s rights regarding inherited property and paying off a mortgage?

I was left a house by my mother; she had 4 children and left a morgage on the house. Her Will states that if the house is sold or rented the proceeds must be divided 4 ways. However, I personally paid the morgage off. Am I entitled to that money back once the house is sold?

Asked on June 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, District of Columbia

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  It would really be best to be able to read the documents involved here in order to be able to give proper guidance.  When you say that you were "left a house by your Mother" do you actually mean a life estate or the right to live in it yourself? Could paying off the mortgage be seen as in exchange for "rent" that you could have had to pay to the estate and thus would have been split between the 4 children had some one else rented the home? I can understand how you would want reimbursement but can you see that is why the terms of the Will are important. Please have some one read the documents involved.  Good luck.


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