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LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10224
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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Laurel, Maryland: My brother was married to a second wife

Customer Question

Laurel, Maryland: My brother was married to a second wife for only a short time when he died last year. When he married his second wife, he moved into the second wife's home and moved my 93 year old Mom and my sister into his home that he had purchased with his first wife. He bought his first wife out of this home. During his first marriage, he had two children: 1) a very responsible son and 2) an irresponsible daughter. In his will, this home that he purchased with the first wife is supposed to go to his son when my Mom passes away. In the meantime, my Mom is supposed to be able to live in this home for the rest of her life. Because my new sister-in-law does not like my Mom, she wants more than half of my brothers home and if my nephew can't give it to her in 15 days, she wants to put the house up for sale. Can she do this in Maryland?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 2 years ago.
My sympathies for your loss; a few minutes please as I continue researching this for you.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your patience.
According to statute, the property that is brought into a marriage remains that person's personal property, unless the parties hold the property as tenants by the entirety, and it is not deemed marital property.Unfortunately though, a spouse has a statutory right to slightly over 1/2 the value of the property.
Relevant statute: 8-201e
) (1) “Marital property” means the property, however titled, acquired by 1 or both parties during the marriage.
(2) “Marital property” includes any interest in real property held by the parties as tenants by the entirety unless the real property is excluded by valid agreement.
(3) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, “marital property” does not include property:
(i) acquired before the marriage;
(ii) acquired by inheritance or gift from a third party;
(iii) excluded by valid agreement; or
(iv) directly traceable to any of these sources.§ion=8-201&ext=html&session=2015RS&tab=subject5
However, there is a law that allows the spouse $15,000 and 1/2 the value of the property, and this is likely the law the spouse is referencing - §3–102.
(a) The share of a surviving spouse shall be as provided in this section.
(b) If there is a surviving minor child, the share shall be one-half.
(c) If there is no surviving minor child, but there is surviving issue, the share shall be the first $15,000 plus one-half of the residue.
(d) If there is no surviving issue but a surviving parent, the share shall be the first $15,000 plus one-half of the residue.
(e) If there is no surviving issue or parent, the share shall be the whole estate.§ion=3-102&ext=html&session=2015RS&tab=subject5
(f) For the purposes of this section, the net estate shall be calculated without a deduction for the tax as defined in § 7-308 of the Tax - General Article.
If the property is held as joint tenants, the property passes as a matter of law to the surviving joint owner.
I'm sorry if this is not the information you wished to hear; however I feel I would be doing you a disservice if I did not provide accurate information. As such, please don't rate negatively due to the content of the information, but rather on the accuracy of the information. Thank you kindly for your understanding.