What takes precedence – a Will or a deed?

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What takes precedence – a Will or a deed?

In my mother’s 15 year old Will she gave me lifetime rights to her house. Last year, my brother had his name added to her deed. He now tells me I have no rights to house. Is this true? My mother past away last month.

Asked on October 7, 2011 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A Will speaks at the death of the person who signed it. If your brother was added to the deed of a piece of real property by your mother before she passed away and the deed was recorded, but your mother's Will that will be probated gave you a life estate in the house she was on title to at the time of her death, you have a life estate in that property.

Meaning, you have the right to live in the property subject to limitations set forth in your mother's Will pertaining to payment of utilities, property taxes, insurance and the like. As such, it is important that you carefully read your mother's Will to ascertain what limitations if any you have concerning the life estate given you.

Good luck.


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