I'm sorry to hear this - your husband likely left you the life estate so you would have a place to live, not to create problems for you, so I am sorry you are experiencing this.
Fortunately the case law on this is clear. I am including the relevant text from Middleton vs. Rigsbee which states that while the life tenant is responsible for normal repairs, substantial issues must be apportioned between the life tenant and the remainderman. So the court will apportion it according to the expected life expectancy of the life tenant, and require the remainderman to pay the rest.
'gain, on matters relevant to the inquiry, while authority is to the effect that a life tenant is required to make all the ordinary repairs incident to the present enjoyment of the property, and required to prevent its going to waste, he is not chargeable alone with the costs of permanent improvements thereon, and which tend to enhance the value of the remainderman's estate as well as his own. The decisions on the subject hold that these should be properly apportioned between them,".....In this last citation the correct doctrine is stated as follows: "A tenant for life must make all ordinary repairs, but is not bound to make permanent improvements, such as sewers and farm drains, which add to the value of both the life estate and remainder, and the burden of making them should be equitably prorated between the life tenant and remainderman, taking into account the probable duration of the life estate and other relevant facts."
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