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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33555
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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My husband just recently passed away. We have been living

Customer Question

My husband just recently passed away. We have been living separately for the past 20 years but still legally married since 1973. During this period of separation, we have remained friendly. I have been providing his medical and dental insurance throughout this time. We get together for family holidays and occasional social events. He has stayed at my home on occasion and has done home repair projects for me. He still lives in the home that we shared from approximately 1975 to 1980. The house was purchased for us by his deceased parents and Gregs name is ***** ***** the title. He has 3 adult children, 2 prior to our marriage and one as a result of our marriage who grew up in that house. His sister has lived in the house for at least the past 10 years, he took her in as she had no where to go. Both he and his sister had/have serious drug abuse issues. I want to know now that he is deceased, what legal rights do I have in handling his estate?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I need you to be more specific in your question(s) if you could. When we answer general ones like "what do I do", "what are my rights", or "what are my options", we have to give general answers and, invariably, the customer responds with "I already knew that". This type of forum works better if you ask specific questions so we know exactly what you are looking for.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The house is a hoarder house, filled with junk, a health and safety hazard. If I have legal rights as a spouse, I would like to evict my sister in law and her friend who are living there, sell the property and split the profit with the 3 girls. If I am not legally responsible, I want to insure that I am not held responsible for anything that goes on at that home or to anyone who gets hurt on that property
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Did he leave a will of any type?

When was the house obtained? Before or after you were married?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is no will or any other personal instructions. The house was purchased in approximately 1976 about 3 years after we were married and I moved out in December of 1993. I lived in that home with my husband for about 18 years.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was 17 years together in that home, i guess
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like the house is community property then which means you automatically own 50% of it and your husband's estate would own the other 50%. Once the estate is probated then under the laws of intestate succession you would own the other 50% of the house and you would also inherit all of the community property and a portion of his separate property. His children would inherit the other portion of his separate property.

However, you would have to do some type of probate to pass title to all of the property. There are different types depending on the exact facts and you would need to talk to a local lawyer to see which type is appropriate for this case. You would probably want the lawyer to handle the probate as well. You can find a lawyer by going to and entering Probate Law in the section for Area of Practice.

If you are appointed as executor of the estate then you could evict the people living there and then proceed with preparing the house to sell.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.