Members of a popular internet forum were quick to support one woman who sold her late husband’s home to a buyer other than his parents.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Clarkal2 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said she and her husband had been separated for a year before his death and detailed the burden that came after she was named administrator of his estate.
Titled “[Am I the a**hole] for selling my late husband’s home out from under his parents?” the viral post has received nearly 15,000 votes and 1,000 comments in the last 10 hours.
Writing that her in-laws were the beneficiaries of multiple life insurance policies and retirement funds, the original poster said they received a “boat load of money,” while she was left to sell her former partner’s home.
Adding that she is already financially responsible for her own home, the original poster said that her in-laws have been adamant that they want to purchase their late son’s home, but have dragged their feet throughout the process.
“Since his death his parents have told me that they wanted to buy the home,” she wrote. “I have been waiting for them to go through with the purchase since August…I have been paying the mortgage on his home ever since.”
“In February, I warned them that I was sick of paying for two mortgages and that I needed them to go through with the purchase,” she added.
Despite her in-law’s wishes to buy the house, the original poster said she recently received an offer from an outside buyer, much to the chagrin of her late husband’s parents.
“Last week I was approached by a gentleman willing to pay good money for the home,” she wrote. “I warned [my in-laws] hoping it would make them move forward on their end, but they scoffed and told me that I just needed to be patient and wait.”
“It has been an entire year of waiting, of them letting me pay the mortgage…while they go on vacations, make large purchases and pay off their debt with the life insurance,” she continued.
“Am I the a**hole for accepting an offer from someone that isn’t them?,” she questioned. “Is selling the home of their dead son wrong?”
When a person dies, one of the first actions is to name an administrator of their estate.
Often a surviving spouse, other relative, attorney or executor named in a final will, the estate administrator serves as legal representation for the deceased party, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Depending on certain state laws, this can mean that an estate administrator is responsible for a decedent’s debts, including unpaid mortgages.
And while there are certain protections for grieving family members from “abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices,” used to collect debts, the Federal Trade Commission reports that collectors are able to directly contact spouses, parents, executors and estate administrators soon after a death.
Throughout the comment section of the viral post, Redditors pointed out that her in-laws had numerous chances to purchase their late son’s home and offered advice to the original poster.
In the post’s top comment, which has received more than 20,000 votes, Redditor u/Lawn_Orderly said the original poster was justified in selling the house and encouraged her to seek reimbursement for the mortgage payments she made.
“[Not the a**hole],” they wrote. “They have been given more than enough time to respond and as administrator, you need to close the estate.”
“Check with your lawyer about getting reimbursed out of the sale proceeds for the mortgage payments you made after death,” they added.
Redditor u/Petty25Betty, whose comment has received more than 4,000 votes, echoed that sentiment and said that the original poster’s children should have received the money that ended up with her in-laws.
“If they wanted the home, they’d be paying the mortgage,” they wrote. “Y’alls [children] should’ve been his beneficiaries.
“You’ve given them fair warning. If you want to be generous, let them know about the other offer and give a deadline for pulling the trigger,” Redditor u/4682458 added. “All communication through an attorney.”