My mother-in-law sells the house given to us after my husband’s death

By Thao   July 7, 2024 | 03:52 pm PT
After my husband died, my mother-in-law sold the house that she and my father-in-law had previously given to us, but only gave me one-third of the proceeds.

I am 35 years old and a single mother of a 5-year-old son. My husband succumbed to cancer, and this September will mark the first anniversary of his death. We enjoyed 10 years of marriage before he passed away.

My in-laws, who are financially secure, verbally promised us a five-story house on a city street after our wedding. Although my husband and I moved in and have rented out the first floor for VND15 million (US$590) per month, the property remained in my in-laws’ names without any formal documentation to verify their gift to us.

Since my husband’s passing, my son and I have continued to live in that house, and I have maintained a good relationship with my in-laws. I regularly took my son to dine with them two to three times a week, and he spent weekends at their home.

Unexpectedly, last month my mother-in-law revealed that she had listed the house for sale the previous year, immediately following my husband’s death, and had now secured a buyer. She stated that the proceeds from the sale would be divided into three parts: one for my son and me, one for my husband’s younger brother, and one for herself and my father-in-law.

She justified her decision by explaining that the house represented her and my father-in-law’s lifelong effort and savings, and therefore they could not transfer it solely to my son and me. She assured me that the portion we would receive would be sufficient to purchase a modest apartment for us and that any future additions to my son’s inheritance would be addressed in their will. Additionally, they committed to continuing to pay for my son’s education until he turns 18, provided that he regularly visits them.

I was completely shocked by this revelation. To me, the house represented more than just a property, as it was a cherished home filled with memories from my marriage.

In addition, I had been unaware of its sale. My in-laws had made their decision independently and simply informed me afterward, leaving me no alternative. I feel betrayed, as they treat my son and me as outsiders, while my brother-in-law not only inherits their property but also benefits from the proceeds of the sale. This has left me profoundly distressed, humiliated, and filled with resentment, unsure of how to handle this situation.

What would you do if you were in my situation?

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