Does a widow have rights to live in the home until her death or does she have any rights to the home at all?

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Does a widow have rights to live in the home until her death or does she have any rights to the home at all?

A 76 year old widow was married 15 years when her husband died; it was a second marriage for both. Deceased had dementia and she cared for him in the home although no dementia when they first married. Widow signed agreement that house would belong to his children from his first marriage if he passed first.

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whetrher or not the widow of the decedent is allowed to reside in the home that she shared with him depends upon several matters. First is the widow on legal title to the property? If so, then she owns the home to a degree and can reside in it.

Second, does the decedent's Will or trust allow the widow to remain in the home after his death? If so, then the provisions of these documents control. If there is no mention of the widow being able to reside in the home after her husband's death and if she has no ownership interest in it, then legally she is not entitled to reisde in it anymore. I suggest that this widow consult with a Wills and trust attorney about the matter that you are writing about.


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