What to do if yesterday my brother passed away and his girlfriend is living in the home and threatening to take his possessions?

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What to do if yesterday my brother passed away and his girlfriend is living in the home and threatening to take his possessions?

They belonged to my grandfather and other family members. My sisters and I would like her to be removed but unsure of the what to do. I have been asked to handle family matters as I was named the beneficiary. Due to comments we are in fear of things coming up missing or stolen or damage to the property.

Asked on January 31, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If your brother owned the home *and* she was not on the title, then the executor (if there is a will) or court-appointed administrator (no will) can ask her to leave--guests (and that's what she would be--unless she had a lease from your brother and was renting from him, which is unlikely) may be asked to leave at anytime  by someone with authority. However, a beneficiary has no authority until the property has been distributed to him or her; pre-distribution, it would be the executor or administrator.

If your brother leased and the girlfriend was on the lease, then she can stay so long as she pays rent, obeys the lease, etc.

If your brother leased and the girlfriend was not on the lease, the landlord can evict, but not you.

If she takes anything not belonging to her, you can report her to the police for theft and/or sue her for the return of the items and/or to recover their value.


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