Do I have any right to my fathers house?

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Do I have any right to my fathers house?

My father is in county jail in Georgia awaiting
sentencing for 4 felonies he will be in prison
for 5-10 years. His house is in Pennsylvania.
His wife is deceased and he has 3 children,
including myself.
Do I, or any of my siblings, have any right to
claim his property since he has no way to pay
the taxes or bills?
He is letting one of his friends live there and
she is supposed to pay the bills and property
taxes, but I do not believe that she will.
What can I do, legally?

Asked on December 9, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not. Being someone's child by itself gives you no right to his property. It doesn't matter if your father cannot pay the taxes and bills and will lose the house; it doesn't matter if he is letting someone irresponsible live in the house; it is still *his* house and he decides what to do with it, even if that decision is profoundly unwise. He could sell or give the house to you, or keep it for himself and nonetheless give you power (through a POA or power of attorney) to manage it (e.g. decide who lives there; rent it out, if you wanted; etc.), but he has not done that. If he will not voluntarily give you or sell you the home, or otherwise give you authority over it, there is nothing you can do.
You can bring a legal action (lawsuit) to get any belongings of yours out of the home--the occupant has no right to them. But that is the limit of what you can do without your father's consent.


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