Today it is almost impossible to replace the benefits of a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment. The amount of space you get for the price, along with the lease terms and protections cannot be duplicated in the unregulated, free market. This means that whoever retains the unit usually gains a significant financial advantage.
However, there are legal complexities to retaining your tenancy. For example, if the lease is in your spouse's name, you will only be able to stay if you inherit "succession rights." There are several conditions that have to be met to qualify for succession status. And that is only one among a number of potential legal problems.
Almost always, the landlord will initiate litigation to get control of the apartment in these circumstances. By evicting you, he or she can then raise the rent to current rates and escape regulation. Your best bet to protect your interests and win the right to continue your residency is to retain an experienced Tenants' attorney. Landlord Tenant practice has as many intricacies as matrimonial law.