What are the rights of a child of a deceased parent to stay in family home?

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What are the rights of a child of a deceased parent to stay in family home?

My husband and I have been living in my childhood home for 10 plus years after my mom passed. We took possession agreeing to maintain it pay all the bills. My sister moved in a few months ago to get on her feet. We did not ask her to pay any bills so that she could save her money to get her own place. However, she keeps bringing someone over that we don’t want there as he assaulted my husband. What are our rights in this situation?

Asked on February 16, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You actually have a couple of different issues.
Generally, a will directs the heirs how to handle an estate after someone passes away.  If the will says the house is yours.... then the house is yours.  If the will says both of you inherit, then both of you generally have equal rights to the house.  If there was no will, then a parents property will pass to their children...and again equally and subject to the control of both.
However, you have been in this house for 10 years.  Assuming that the house may be owned by the two of you ( you and your sister), you may be able to file a suit to 'quiet title' on the theory of adverse possession.  Basically, this is where you act like the house is yours for so long, that the courts deem it as your sole house.
Assuming (either through probate or a suit to clear title) that the judge grants the house to you, you still have the issue with this "someone."  If she or he have been living in the house, you may have to evict her like a tenant.  You can then request that law enforcement issue one or both of them a criminal trespass warrant.  It's a lower level protective order which anyone can get, even without an assault.  Once the warning is issued, law enforcement will not arrest the "someone" until and unless they actually step back on the property.


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