Does my wife have any rights to make decisions about property willed to me by my parents?

Full Question:

Prior to my father's death in 1981 he deeded in my name, a house and some land, giving my mother a living will at the same time. My mother died a few months ago and I am planning to sell both the house and the land, but my wife said she should have some imput in the matter even though she isn't on the deed and my dad gave this to me and not her. We were married in 1978 prior to my dad's deed. Does she have any legal right to the house and land other that be part of our decision?
03/30/2007   |   Category: Real Property   |   State: Mississippi   |   #2387


We assume that you have title to the property in your name alone and that you are the sole owner of the property after your Mother's death.

The answer to your question depends on whether your wife has homestead rights in the property. If not, then you can sell the property without her consent. If yes, then she must sign the deed to release her homestead rights in the property.

Under Mississippi law, SEC. 89-1-29, a conveyance, mortgage, deed of trust or other incumbrance upon a homestead exempted from execution shall not be valid or binding unless signed by the spouse of the owner if the owner be married and living with the spouse.

"Homestead" generally refers to a family’s dwelling (where they reside) and the land upon which the dwelling rests.