I live with my boyfriend. If he dies without a will in place, but he has a living daughter, what happens to me and my residence?

The house is in his name and he owns it. However, I have been living here
permanently for over a year. If he passes away, what would happen by law?

Asked on April 30, 2016 under Estate Planning, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If he has no will, his daughter will inherit everything--including the house--under the rules of intestate succession (or who gets what when there is no will). Living with someone, if you are unmarried, gives no inheritance rights; and living in a home for a year also gives no rights to it. His daughter can ask you to leave and, if you don't, can have you evicted by the courts by brining an action for "ejectment" (eviction for nontenants) once she inherits. You need him to draw up a will to protect you. The will could give you a life estate in the home (the right to live there for the rest of your life, but NOT to sell it or leave it to anyone when you pass away), with the home going to his daughter when you pass, for example, as one way to protect you while still ultimately leaving the house to her.

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