Who has rights to a deceased man’s home – their child or their second wife?

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Who has rights to a deceased man’s home – their child or their second wife?

My dad was married to my mother and she passed away 15 years ago. He remarried a year later. My parents’ house was never switched to his new wife’s name. Then 4 years ago my dad found out that he had cancer; 3 years ago I took over the house. Dad put in his Will that house goes to me. A week or so ago, his new wife got power of attorney to sell the house and take care of other things. Now my dad has taken a bad turn. If he passes away, does she have the right to sell the house since it is supposed to be mine. Also, we have put most of our extra money into remodeling because my dad kept telling me it was mine and his new wife said she wanted nothing to do with it when he passed. Now all of a sudden she wants to get rid of it.

Asked on February 19, 2014 under Estate Planning, Iowa

Answers:

Brook Miscoski / Hurr Law Office PC

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Loosely speaking, you haven't inherited anything because your father is still alive. I don't know the facts of your situation, but depending on the circumstances there might actually be an obligation to use your father's assets to cover bills related to his illness. If you believe that the house was already yours, you should seek the advice of a local attorney and not cheap it on the internet--your issue can be complicated and it is unlikely that you will have a good chance at success without good professional help.


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