widow’s ownership rights in homestead with children of deceased spouse claiming portion

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widow’s ownership rights in homestead with children of deceased spouse claiming portion

widow, 65+ yrs of age, married for 13 years to man with children from former marriage – she and late spouse purchased homestead after approx 9 yrs of marriage, deed in both names – children now claiming right to their father’s home, trying to force stepmom, widow, to sell and accept child’s portion of sale proceeds – does widow not have sole ownership of homestead she shared with late husband?

Asked on June 24, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Texas attorney, but my research suggests that Texas law recognizes both joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and a special form of that called tenancy by the entireties for married couples.  You would have to have an attorney in your area look at the deed to be certain, but I think it's most likely that the home was owned by the entireties, and that means it belongs solely to the widow.

A short consultation with a lawyer, with a copy of the deed, will confirm this, and the attorney can also write a letter, if necessary, to put a stop to the children's claims.  One place to find a lawyer in your area is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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