Should my sister and I allow my mothers husband to add his name to the deed of her house or residence?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Should my sister and I allow my mothers husband to add his name to the deed of her house or residence?

My mother owns her house and only her name is on
the deed. She has indicated in her Will, that she
wants the house sold and divided Between the three
of us. Her husband, myself and my sister
But, she also wants her husband to live in the house
as long as he wants before the house can be sold.
Her husband wants to add his name to the deed Is
this a bad idea and could it affect my moms wishes,
as described in her well? Thank you

Asked on November 3, 2019 under Estate Planning, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, it will affect the will. A will can only leave or dispose of or distribute the interest that a person has in property. If she adds his name to the deed, she changes her ownership interest: she will no longer be sole, 100% owner. Depending on how his name is added, he will either have a 50% interest in the home when she dies (and you, he, and your sister will then split your mother's 50% interest, meaning you and your sister will get 1/6th each, whereas he will keep his 1/2 plus get another 1/6th, or have 4/6th total) or he will get the entire house if she passes away before him and you and your sister will get nothing. So it will definitely affect inheritance.
2) We can't say if it's a "bad" idea, since that depends on whether your mother's wishes have changed--but as per the above, it will change things from what you currently describe.
3) Her wishes are contradictory: she cannot simultaneously have the house sold and the proceeds split among you, your sister, and her husband while also letting him live there as long as he wants (since it can't be sold while lives there). Your mother needs to really think about her priorities, then sit down with an attorney who can tell her the best way to carry them out.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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