Stocks, Real Estate and Usufruct

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    • #1897

      My husband died suddenly and without a will after 17 years of marriage.  Everything we own was community property.  My adult step children are the naked owners of his 50% of everything and I have usufruct.  We had stock which has been sitting there since he passed 3 years ago.  What are my options?  Can I sell my 50%?  My husband passed in our home, in fact he drowned in our bathtub.  It is very difficult for me to live in this house nevertheless take a bath.  What are my options about selling this house and purchasing something smaller with less upkeep even though my stepchildren are now naked owners.  I have 25 years left on the mortgage.  My husband was only 52.

    • #2152

      Well, if everything is community, then you own your half and can do what you want. The practical problem is that some property would be owned in indivision which causes complications. For example, you own half the house outright, but not the other half. Since there would be no market for half a house, then you and the adult children would have to come to an agreement on a sale and on how the proceeds would be handled. Would you continue to have a usufruct over their share of the proceeds? That is typically where the problem lies since the children 9 times out of 10 want their share paid to them.If co-owners will not agree to a sale, then there is the legal remedy of asking the court to partition and sell the property. That can lead to a sale at less the full value of a home, but usually a compromise is reached rather than letting the home go for a bargain price.The question is this: how reasonable are his children?

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