What are my rights to continue to live in my parent’s house?

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What are my rights to continue to live in my parent’s house?

My father is deceased and my mother is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. My niece, who has the POA is trying to get me to pay rent to live in my home. I pay all of the utilities and property taxes on the home. There is no lease. My parents wanted me to have this home. Do I have any rights, such as homestead rights, to live in my home? Can she sell this house out from under me, even though I have lived here for years?

Asked on May 10, 2013 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are not on the title or deed to the property, and do not thave a lease, then you effectively have no rights--whether or not you parents "wanted" you to live there, it is not your house.

Your parents could have given you rights either to the property or to live there in a number of ways: putting you on the deed or selling you an interest in the house; giving you a life estate; even giving you a long-term lease at a very cheap price. But if they did not do these things, you were just a guest in the house. That means that your parents--or in this case, your niece, who has a POA and therefore may legally act in their place--has the right to ask you to leave and may bring an eviction or ejectment action against you to get you out. Your having paid taxes, etc. in the past does not give you any right to the home.


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