Can my dad stay in the house?
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Can my dad stay in the house?
My father lived with my grandparents. His last remaining parent died yesterday. My dad paid all bills in the house for 17 years and was offered the house numerous times but he declined. My 2 uncles came to him today and said they wanted him out within 30 days. Does he have any legal way of staying in the house for now? Again he paid all bills, etc. My grandma took out a second mortgage years ago and dad was also paying that.
Asked on March 30, 2019 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
Paying bills while living in a home gives you no right to the home: either you paid them for your own benefit (so you could live there) or you paid them as a gift to the owners (his parents), but in neither event is any right to the home or to continue to reside in it created. Similarly, living in someone else's home with their permission creates no continuing right to stay there.
What is happening to the home--who inherits it? And who is the executor (if there is a will) or the personal representative (if no will), since that person has legal authority over the home, subject to having to use that authority in accordance with who will inherit.
There are several possibilities: if there is a will and the home was left solely to your father, then he cannot be removed, since the home is to go to him, and removing him would be inconsistent with that.
On the other hand, if either the will leaves the home to all three children, or there is no will and so all three inherit under "intestate succession" (the rules for who gets what when there is no will), then the executor or personal representative may remove him to sell the home and split the proceeds among those who inherit (since money can be shared or split in a way that a physical house cannot be).
If there is a will and your father is NOT inheriting the home in any way (e.g. it was left to other people or charities, not him), he clearly also can be removed.
So the answer to your questions depends on who is inheriting, and who is in the meantime administrating the estate.
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