I am a 69-year-old married woman and my husband 79. I am his second wife and we have been married for 22 years. He is not in the best of health and requires my attention. He suffers from debilitating arthritic pain and is unable to do anything other than his daily life necessities, watch television and orient myself to what to do. Now I am responsible for taking care of everything inside and outside the home.
“I hope I don’t seem like a greedy person. Due to the pandemic, I am well aware that you must be prepared for the future. ”- Wife No. 2
When we first got married, my husband convinced me to put his name on my house, and he paid the balance of $ 30,000. I agreed to this as long as my name was on all of his assets, including the house in question. At the time of this arrangement, I agreed. After 22 years, I’m not that nice. The value of the house has increased significantly since 1995 and I don’t think the great-grandson deserves the recognition of the house if my husband dies. We live in a community property state. I am his wife and I have a responsibility to care for him and I feel that I must receive what I am entitled to receive when I die. His family, including his grandson, rarely comes near or calls, except when something is needed. I hope I don’t seem like a greedy person. Due to the pandemic, I am well aware that you must be prepared for the future. I’m not getting any younger and I want to make sure I have the resources to live my life. My husband refuses to obtain a living trust and I feel like I am not prepared in the event that he dies. What do you think i should do? Should I comply with my husband’s wishes that his grandson inherit this house? Wife No. 2 Do you want to read more? Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter and read more of his columns here. Dear No. 2: If your name is on the deed to this house as you say, it will automatically be assigned to you if your husband dies before you. It will not go through legalization. Then it is up to you to decide what you want to do with it. Your husband should not make promises that he does not intend to keep, but that is an ethical dilemma that he, and only he, must grapple with. It is not yours to comply. “Any property that is jointly titled to a husband and wife, along with the right of survivorship, or as tenants in its entirety, passes to the wife upon the husband’s death,” according to the Spencer Law Firm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania “. It does not pass immediately under the surviving co-owner’s will and title. Title is determined by the language of the deed.” Suppose you lived in a community property state and your husband’s house was in your name only, and your real estate had not become a combined asset during your marriage. If, in that case, you died without a will, in most states you would still keep a portion of the community property, a portion of the separate personal property, and probably the right to use your real estate for life.
“Our thoughts and feelings are not always perfectly aligned with our actions. We show up and do the right thing and hopefully over time the rest follows. “- The Moneyist
You can decide to leave this house to your husband’s grandson in his will, or divide it among his immediate family and / or talk to this man, and see if he hopes or wants to inherit this house. Perhaps it was convenient for your grandson to see or spend time with his grandfather when they lived together, and he was in better health. Again, that’s your life, and the way you choose to live it. As shown in this column, family members, even formerly close family members, change their minds if there is heavy work to do, with their time, work, or emotions. You, of course, can be firm, kind and courteous to your husband and still be 100% clear about the type of behavior and the words that you accept and do not accept, even if he doesn’t always make it easy. Our thoughts and feelings are not always perfectly aligned with our actions. We show up and do the right thing and hopefully over time the rest follows. You will find it easier to live with yourself if you do not allow your own anger, no matter how righteous, to take over. There are organizations that help caregivers. It is thankless, exhausting, and unforgiving. It’s okay to seek help. Sometimes the most satisfying moments of our lives occurred when we showed up, we fought our own demons and those of others. You may do better tomorrow, or maybe you handled stress in a more manageable way yesterday, but in the end you won’t get a second chance to be there for your husband as his health fades. And, with the right support, I suspect he will get through this. Hello MarketWatchers. Take a look at Moneyist’s private FB Facebook group, -0.57%, where we search for answers to life’s thorniest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or comment on the latest Moneyist columns. Quentin Fottrell is a MarketWatch Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at email@example.com. By emailing your questions, you agree to have them posted anonymously on MarketWatch.