You have a very good reason to be concerned about this. Fortunately, there are several situations that are facing you at the moment. In the end you will be happy.
First I would let you know that a General Warranty Deed is basically a document that assures the buyer of the property that there are no problems with the property and if there are, the seller can be sued to have them corrected. The problems that I am referring to are things such as defects in the building structures on the property, liens against the property, or easements that have not been disclosed.
A Deed of Trust is very different. A Deed of Trust is virtually taking property that is being purchased by an individual, whereby the purchaser gives up his right to ownership of the property and places it in trust to another party (usually the county abstractor's office) for the purpose of liquidating (selling) the property in the event that the purchaser doesn't pay for the property as promised. The trustee "so to speak" will sell the property and give the proceeds of the sale to the bank or mortgage lender that financed the property. If by chance this is taken care of and there is a balance of excess money, these monies will be given to the individual that was buying the home.
Finally, a charitable trust generally benefits a charitable cause, "hence the name" charitable trust.
Now the good news: Tennessee recognizes is known for being a community property state. What this virtually means is that any thing that enters a marriage, via purchase or gift, belongs to both the husband and wife. With this, even if your husband had made the provisions in his will as you have stated, you would still be able to show the courts that the following:
1. You took out a loan to pay him for 50% of the land that he had purchased, either prior to or during our marriage.
2. The home that was built on the property was done after the two of you were married.
3. All property taxes and home improvements were shared equally between you based on the fact that you were married when they were paid for.
4. The Deed of Trust bears both of your names and in this it is easy to see that the original Deed of Trust for the property is no longer valid in that the new Deed of Trust bears both of you names.
6. Your husband can't place property that is jointly owned with you in a trust that would give a third party (your step-daughter) a portion of the equities contained therein, without you have both signed the paperwork that would initiate the trust.
Now I would like to suggest the following to you: If your husband is still living, I would have this taken care of just to save yourself headaches in the future. The reason that I say this is because if he were to pass away without having it taken care of and his daughter is a greedy little one, all though you would still be able to claim everything because it is yours by right, it may get into an ugly legal action . She wouldn't win a case by any means; however, it would be time consuming and initially expensive.
If I can be of assistance to you in the future, you may request my help by typing:
ATTN:Customerbefore typing your question on the header or subject line and submitting it!