Very shrewd husband offers a life estate

Prior to marriage in 2013, I signed a prenup since at that time I owed IRS and husband said when IRS was satisfied the prenup would be changed/eliminated/whatever. I don’t have a copy of prenup. To my knowledge tho notarized it was not recorded. (how would I know - where could I check to see if recorded?) Since my debt to IRS has been paid off by myself, however hubby hasn’t voided the prenup.
Husband buys house appx 6 months ago in cash in his name only with expressed intent for myself, my daughter and grandchild (6) to also live in. I’ve expressed grave concerns to our security in this and he has offered “me” a life estate to the property. He says he will see his attny asap. My brain is spinning of ways he could put me at a disadvantage. It is not his dislike of me, it is his major issue of not sharing, having complete control, and enjoying playing games. Concerns off top of my head: Has he ability to oust my daughter at any time while I am alive? Should I die, my daughter and grandchild would be out in the street. Can he via any will or any other instrument effect, change the life estate? What about my investments/improvements to the property I will make and if I can make improvements? ex 2 car garage, appliances. lighting/deck/etc etc? Yesterday, while my daughter and I were painting new house, he says colors have to be his choice, dictates where grandchilds (6) toys should be placed, where live plants I bought can or cannot be planted outside. Wants to be full charge of everything including where dishes go. Won’t allow me to hire painters/carpenters. I have tried to find a local RE attny to make appt to see, but none are available or have called back, and this is happening now. ALSO, I own a home I bought in my name only in 2005 prior to marriage. Read somewhere if I can sell my old home and receive cash, it would then be considered marital rather than separate??? Should he take me to his attny/his life long friend for a life estate, concerned the attny will not be candid about my concerns etc etc. I live in Columbus Cty, NC and NEED to consutlt an attny

A prenuptial agreement is not recorded. Instead, the parties to the prenup both keep duplicate originals.

The prenup could only be rescinded if both parties agree.

If your husband has granted you a legitimate life estate in the real property, then you would have possession of the home for your lifetime, then upon your passing, ownership would revert back to your husband.

Assuming the existence of the prenuptial agreement, then the house could be considered his separate property depending on the exact language of the prenuptial agreement.

The house you bought in 2005 is your separate property, but there could be a marital property component to it. If you sell it during the marriage, the funds you receive will likely remain your separate property as long as you do not comingle them with any joint or marital funds.

All other questions will need to be directed to an estate planning attorney in your county.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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