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  1. #1
    treefon Guest

    Does A Widow have to honor a Verbal Agreement by her Spouse

    What is the name of the state where this is happening?OHIO

    Background:
    Widow inheirited half of a property with a VERBAL life estate agreement. My husband owns half of the property and she owns the other half now. The aunt in question expected to die first (over 80). Widow has been honoring the life estate agreeement (paying the property taxes and other expenses while letting the aunt collect the rental income).

    NOW:
    The rental burned and the widow wants to take the insurance money and tear down the house. This would leave the elderly aunt without a source of income.

    QUESTIONS:
    Did the widow "Agree" to the verbal agreement by allowing the property to continue as it always has for two years after my father in laws death (and a year after probate is over)?

    Does her demand to cash in the insurance and subsiquent refusal to rebuild the rental property consitute material damage to my husband's ability to be made "whole" by the insurance as is intended by being insured? (In the sense that he would be obligated by his personal verbal agreement to pay at least his half of the life estate to the aunt until she dies)
    Last edited by treefon; 07-02-2004 at 10:16 PM. Reason: Title not quite right
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by treefon
    What is the name of the state where this is happening?OHIO

    Background:
    Widow inheirited half of a property with a VERBAL life estate agreement. My husband owns half of the property and she owns the other half now. The aunt in question expected to die first (over 80). Widow has been honoring the life estate agreeement (paying the property taxes and other expenses while letting the aunt collect the rental income).

    NOW:
    The rental burned and the widow wants to take the insurance money and tear down the house. This would leave the elderly aunt without a source of income.

    QUESTIONS:
    Did the widow "Agree" to the verbal agreement by allowing the property to continue as it always has for two years after my father in laws death (and a year after probate is over)?

    Does her demand to cash in the insurance and subsiquent refusal to rebuild the rental property consitute material damage to my husband's ability to be made "whole" by the insurance as is intended by being insured? (In the sense that he would be obligated by his personal verbal agreement to pay at least his half of the life estate to the aunt until she dies)
    **A: there is no life estate agreement if it was verbal as such an agreement would need to be in writing to be enforceable, but there would be a L/T verbal lease that was created. This is a messy situation that would require review from a local attorney.
  3. #3
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    I agree. This is far too confusing and complicated an issue to even attempt resolution in an online forum. Contact a qualified local real estate or probate attorney and have him/her review ALL the facts and advise.
  4. #4
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    JETX, I think even the probate attorney would be confused.
  5. #5
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    I agree... and only tossed that suggestion into the mix since the writer wasn't clear as to who the 'widow' is.... or her exact relationship to the property.
  6. #6
    treefon Guest

    Unhappy Widow married my Father in law

    The widow was a nurse who married my father in law. My husband and his father owned two properties together. The widow inherited the shares of the properties owned by my father in law. They were married three months before my FIL died in his sleep of a heart attack. She and he both knew he was on borrowed time. I guess that was the incentive to marry him.

    Thank you for the idea about calling it a life-time lease. I do know that in Ohio life estates have to be written to be legal, so that at least would be a contract that could be binding as a verbal agreement.
  7. #7
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by treefon
    The widow was a nurse who married my father in law. My husband and his father owned two properties together. The widow inherited the shares of the properties owned by my father in law. They were married three months before my FIL died in his sleep of a heart attack. She and he both knew he was on borrowed time. I guess that was the incentive to marry him.

    Thank you for the idea about calling it a life-time lease. I do know that in Ohio life estates have to be written to be legal, so that at least would be a contract that could be binding as a verbal agreement.

    **A: good luck.

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