If my grandmother just died without a Will and I have lived with her for over 7 years, what are my rights to the house?

She had expressed many times that she wanted me to keep the house because I would never let anything happen to her house. Now my Aunt who had nothing to do with my grandmother for over a year thinks that she can take the house from me and that she has more rights then I do. What can I do? The electricity is already out of my grandmother’s name and into my name.

Asked on November 14, 2014 under Estate Planning, Oregon


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  This must be a very difficult time.  If your Grandmother did not make out a Last Will and testament in writing then she is said to have died "intestate" and the intestacy statutes in the state will apply.  Unfortunately, oral Wills are not allowed in Oregon so her wishes had to have been formalized in writing as required under stat law.  Now, if she is said to have died intestate her children would inherit everything.  That would mean your parent as well as your Aunt and other siblings.  While it does not seem fair given your relationship with your Grandmother, it is unfortunately the law.  Good luck.

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