Yes, a life estate in real estate does not give the recipient of it a right to personal property or possessions in the home, so if the home's contents were willed to you, you are entitled to HER possessions there--you can't get anything that is his, of course, or anything they paid for/bought together, since if they jointly owned it, it would likely be his now. But anything purely hers--e.g. her jewlery or clothing; art or electronics or furniture she had before marrying him or which was willed or gifted to her, etc.--you would inherit and could take.
A life estate only relates to real property, not personal property. So in this case, while you do not have rights to the house until your stepfather passes, you so have immediate rights to its contents, at least to that which your mother solely owned. Any jointly held belongings would be your father-in-law's property.
Rate This Answer: Not Yet Rated
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.
Helping 20 Million Americans a Year for 20 Years. FREE!