If my father-in-law died and left a house to my husband with his girlfriend having a life estate in the house, what are my husband’s responsibilities?

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If my father-in-law died and left a house to my husband with his girlfriend having a life estate in the house, what are my husband’s responsibilities?

The Will stipulated that my husband was responsible for the taxes and homeowner’s insurance, which amounts to $2400 yearly. Financially it makes no sense to hold on to the house, so he has not been making the tax payments. He has gotten a letter from a lawyer threatening to sue him.

Asked on October 1, 2012 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you and your husband received a home from his father (and our father-in-law) subject to a life estate where you two are to pay for the property's taxes and insurance, you are not contractually obligated to do so.

If you do not want to do such, then no one can legally force you. If the girlfriend who has the life estate in the property wishes to remain in it, then she is required to make the payments you no longer wish to make. If she does not, then the home could be lost as well as the life estate.


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