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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22156
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My wife an I have been married 14 yrs (2002)both second

Customer Question

My wife an I have been married 14 yrs (2002)both second marriage.
No dependant children. I have 5 adult children from first marriage she has 4.
She is dying of cancer and has probably 2 weeks max to live.
We live in her house of which I paid off in lump sum which equated to 75% ownership by myself in 2006. The property title has always remained in her name.
I have a freehold property from first marriage which is rented.
We have never had joint accounts or any intermingled finances.
She has always maintained that the property is hers and her family believe the same and treat me as an intruder and freeloader in mums property.
They are all parked up in the house with me and mum as they are careing for her till the end.
I am ostracise and keep to myself and feel like leaving the to it. There mother has sowed a lot of bad seeds about me over the years and now they feel that the house should be theirs
Do I have the right to occupy when she dies or do they if she leaves the house to them.
Under obligation when she was coherent I told her I would walk out and leave everything to them, but because of the treatment I think I should rethink this.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 6 months ago.

The house is relationship property, and this means you have a claim to a half share even if she leaves this to her family. They may be upset by this, but the law is clear that you can if you wish, claim a half share. The fact you paid a share of the mortgage will not mean you get more than half, but whatever her family think, you can claim a half share. You should consult your own lawyer at this stage, and perhaps register a notice of claim on the title. The family will not be able to remove you from the home if you do this, and will have to discuss the sale of the property with you.

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