The Moneyist: My stepfather wants to move his new wife into my late mother’s house: Can I ‘kick her out’ after he dies?

The Moneyist: My stepfather wants to move his new wife into my late mother’s house: Can I ‘kick her out’ after he dies?

4 Jan    Finance News

Dear Moneyist,

My mother passed away last year. I share the title of my mother’s home with my stepfather, but he wants to get married again and wants his new wife to move into the house. What happens when he dies? Does she have any right to the house or can I kick her out immediately after he dies?


Dear Vanessa,

Given that he’s about to have another chance at love and in the holiday spirit and interest of decorum, let’s start by wishing them the best in their new lives together and hope they both live long and happy lives. It’s nice that he doesn’t have to be alone anymore and is able to share the remainder of his life with a woman he loves.

Also see: As a baby boomer, I didn’t grow up with this culture of entitlement — do I have to leave my estate to my children or spouse?

If you and your stepfather’s names are listed on the title deeds of your mother’s former home, he owns 50%. His new wife would be his legal heir and, for better or for worse, you would end up owning the house with this woman. If he is a tenant for life, then the 50% of your mother’s former home would pass to you when he dies, assuming you are an only child.

Recommended: ‘What did he do with all the money?’ My dying husband cashed his $700K life insurance and emptied his bank accounts

In the meantime, I would like to gently suggest welcoming your stepfather’s new wife into your lives as a member of your extended family. Try, if you can, to put this territorial approach to one side for now. You don’t know this woman. What if she is warm and caring and wants for nothing except the love and support of her husband and his family?

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At the very least, it will help the years pass without rancor and bitterness. If he invites you to the wedding, raise a glass to their health and happiness. Who knows, they may enrich your life in ways you could not have imagined and that go beyond the half share of your mother’s property. You may even find yourself wishing that they both stick around for a very long time.

Read also: ‘My husband’s kids hate me and refused to come to our wedding, yet he is leaving them all his property.’ How can I negotiate to secure my future?

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