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Property rights / Deed in Mother in law name

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Hello, I need advice about the second home my husband and I bought together with his parents. His mother took a mortgage in her name. The deed only lists her as well. My husband and I paid half of all the costs, downpayment and we pay half of the mortgage each month. All costs of remodeling / purchases done for the house are also split in half. We have oral agreement and understanding that the house is ours and parents just helping us to pay it off. What legal rights do we have for the property in case of mother in law sudden death or our relationship going bad? As far as I know she does not have a written will. What rights do I personally or my children have in case of a divorce? Anything I can do now to ensure I have any rights to this property? (I'm not planning to divorce and we have very good family relationship but the thought about possibility of something unexpected happening does cross my mind). Thank you for your time.

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Hello, I need advice about the second home my husband and I bought together with his parents. His mother took a mortgage in her name. The deed only lists her as well. My husband and I paid half of all the costs, downpayment and we pay half of the mortgage each month. All costs of remodeling / purchases done for the house are also split in half.

So...why is the title only in your mother-in-law's name?

We have oral agreement and understanding that the house is ours and parents just helping us to pay it off. What legal rights do we have for the property in case of mother in law sudden death or our relationship going bad?

That the title is in your MIL's name only suggests there's more going on here than your in-laws simply "helping [you] to pay it off." Nevertheless, oral agreements concerning title to real property are generally unenforceable because of something called the statute of frauds (I suggest you google it along with your state's name for more info), so you may have a real problem on your hands. Because it is only in her name, and whether her death is "sudden" or otherwise, her interest in the property will pass according to the terms of her will (if she has one at the time of her death) or the intestate law of her state of residence.

As far as I know she does not have a written will.

Does she have some other type of will? In most states, only a written will is valid.

What rights do I personally or my children have in case of a divorce?

See above, and I'm at a loss to understand why you might think your children would have any rights regarding this property.

Anything I can do now to ensure I have any rights to this property?

I suggest that you and your husband review the situation with a local attorney. You may then want to approach your MIL about putting both your names on title. If you answer my questions above, I may have a few more comments.

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Not a marriage-divorce issue, but never mind.

If push comes to shove, sounds like you're only in a position to argue an informal partnership agreement as to an investment in half of the property.

Seek local real estate counsel who has some working knowledge of partnerships. Sounds like it's time to enter into a written partnership agreement.

"We have oral agreement and understanding that the house is ours and parents just helping us to pay it off."

Yes, well, I suspect this won't be their version if pressed.

"What legal rights do we have for the property in case of mother in law sudden death or our relationship going bad?"

We cannot know the answer from here but, as posed, you'd have a tough road to hoe in terms of proving any ownership interest as things stand if someone wants to deny it (whether or not you make use of this "second home").

"... the thought about possibility of something unexpected happening does cross my mind)."

This is how you'd want to delicately approach the topic of a partnership agreement, if the parents are not interested in adding your names to the title.

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Hello, I need advice about the second home my husband and I bought together with his parents. His mother took a mortgage in her name. The deed only lists her as well.

Then you and your husband haven't "bought" anything. It's her house. Period.

My husband and I paid half of all the costs, downpayment and we pay half of the mortgage each month. All costs of remodeling / purchases done for the house are also split in half. We have oral agreement and understanding that the house is ours and parents just helping us to pay it off.

If you and your husband are living in the house then you are tenants and all that money you put into it is rent.

Your "understanding" is worthless and your "oral agreement" might be difficult or impossible to enforce.

What legal rights do we have for the property in case of mother in law sudden death or our relationship going bad? As far as I know she does not have a written will.

If she dies without a will, your husband would inherit under intestacy laws. However, if your husband has siblings, he and the siblings will become co-owners of the house if the house doesn't have to be sold to pay her debts.

If the relationship goes bad, and you are living there, all she has to do is give you a month termination notice (may vary some in your state) and you're out.

What rights do I personally or my children have in case of a divorce?

Absolutely none. Your husband doesn't own it so it's not going to be marital property and therefore not subject to distribution between the divorcing parties

Anything I can do now to ensure I have any rights to this property? (I'm not planning to divorce and we have very good family relationship but the thought about possibility of something unexpected happening does cross my mind).

You have a good family relationship now as long as you don't start making noises about your rights to this property.

You'll see how fast that deteriorates once you start expressing your rights.

Likely that your marriage will also deteriorate once you put your husband between you and his mother.

I can't imagine what kind of desperation drove you and your husband to accept this foolish arrangement but my guess is that you are stuck with it until you are prepared to get your own place and move out of hers.

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Well, I wouldn't presume to know anything about the husband's relationship with his mom, let alone the state/condition of it if poster asks her husband to raise the topic with MIL (assuming DIL/poster may not raise topic unobtrusively or however, as the situation requires).

I also do not presume that there is no (or won't be) father-in-law in the picture by the by simply because there's no mention of one.

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