How do I know my stepfather is maintaining my home?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I know my stepfather is maintaining my home?

I have 50% ownership in a home left to me in my mother’s estate Trust. He is able to live in it as long as he maintains it. How do I know? We do not speak.

Asked on August 10, 2018 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to know but to inspect the property: there is no agency, etc. which will do this for you. If you believe that your stepfather is not maintaining it and so violating his obligations, you can bring a lawsuit against him to force him to both allow you to inspect the property and to keep it up. This type of lawsuit, which would be filed "chancery" court (a part or division of country court which handles cases involving things other than straightforward lawsuits for monetary compensation), is considerably more complicated than filing, say, a small claims case; you are advised to retain an attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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