“My in-laws want my house” - Nthabi answers your legal questions

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A woman wants to sell her house to stop her in-laws from taking it.
A woman wants to sell her house to stop her in-laws from taking it.
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My husband passed in 2013.

He bought a house with a bond before we got married but he died before we changed the papers, so I was excluded from it.

Now my in-laws want to take the house, so I want to know if I can sell it even if it is still under his name.

Read more | 6 common in-law problems every couple face

Nthabi says

As a surviving spouse, you are the individual who is supposed to inherit your husband’s estate, unless your husband excluded you in a will.

If you and your husband were married in community of property, 50% of everything your husband owned belongs to you. This mean you own 50% of the house.

You need to report your husband’s death at the master of high court so an estate file can be opened.

You must then appoint either an attorney or a company that specialises in administration of a deceased estate to assist you with winding up your husband’s estate. The house, if you are the sole beneficiary, will be registered in your name.

The in-laws don’t have any rights to the house. If they keep harassing you, you need to get a protection order against them.

Nthabiseng Monareng

Nthabiseng Monareng holds LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Nthabi has more than 10 years’ experience in the legal field, specialising in family law. She’s written books on family law and is a family mediator.

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