If my daughter and I were evicted from my deceased mother’s home but I’m a 60% beneficiary of the estate and my daughter is a 15% beneficiary, is this legal?

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If my daughter and I were evicted from my deceased mother’s home but I’m a 60% beneficiary of the estate and my daughter is a 15% beneficiary, is this legal?

We have lived in the home for a year and paid all bills except taxes. The home is paid for and has no leins.

Asked on January 13, 2015 under Estate Planning, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You do not indicate by whom you were evicted by, but if it was by the estate--that is, by the executor or administrator on behalf of the estate--it is legal. Whether or not you are a beneficiary or not, after your mother died, the estate (through the administrator or executor) determines what to do with the property until such time as it is distributed. If you were not paying rent, you were not a tenant, but a guest; a guest may be evicted at any time, for any reason. Even if paying bills were deemed to be the equivalent ot paying rent, if there was no written lease, you were at best a month to month tenant, and a month to month tenant may be evicted on 30 days notice. The estate could therefore evict you, such as in order to be able to better sell the home (more easily and/or for money, by selling without non-rent-paying tenants, whom a buyer would not want), which will ultimately result in you and your daughter getting more money as, respectively, 60% and 15% beneficiaries.


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