My mom’s boyfriend that just passed left a letter stating he wanted her to have the house can his son kick her out of the house?

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My mom’s boyfriend that just passed left a letter stating he wanted her to have the house can his son kick her out of the house?

Mom’s boyfriend passed the letter
was found in his bible. It was
dated and signed by him. He had no
Will. Can his son take over the
house and kick my mom out? The
letter that his dad left clearly
stayed that he wanted my mom to
keep the house and take care of
everything for him like she has
been doing. The letter was not
notarized. No one knew the letter
even exists until they werelooking
thrrough his bible and it fell
out. Will this letter hold up like
a will?

Asked on November 3, 2016 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The ONLY document which can control what happens to property after someone dies is a will; to be will, the document must meet the requirements for a will; in your state, that means it must be not just signed by the person writing or creating it, but it must be witnessed by at least two people, both of whom also sign it. If the letter was not properly witnessed and signed, it does not count as a will. If there is no will, then the property passes by "intestate succession," which are the rules for who gets what when there is no will. Since "girlfriend" is not a legal relationship--it doesn't give your mother *any* rights at all--the property goes to her boyfriend's children. That means the son will get the house and can require your mother to leave, since once he owns it (or earlier, as the personal representative of the estate who makes decisions for it before it is fully probated, assuming--as is likely--that he is appointed personal representative), he gets to decide who can stay there. So yes, his son can kick your mother out, unfortunately. If her boyfriend had wanted to protect her, he should have created a will and left the house to her (or he could have left it to the son but allowed her to continue living there for the rest her life--e.g. she could live there, then it goes to the son on her death).


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