What are my rights?

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What are my rights?

My grandmother just passed away creating a huge dilemma for my little sister and I, seeing as she has been our legal guardian of almost 3 years. We have been living in her house for the entire time. I recently turned 18, so I am no longer in need of a guardian but that is besides the point. The question here is can my little sister and I be legally forced out of this home when we reside here? There is already talk among my grandmother’s siblings as to selling the house but we are still in school and don’t know how the rest of this year, as well as my sister’s high school career, will go if they choose to kick us out.

Asked on February 18, 2018 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Who is inheriting the house? Unless it is only you and your sister, you can be forced to leave, either sooner or later:
1) If you and your sister are not among those inheriting the home, you have no right to it or to live there; those inheriting it can require you to leave. You simply cannot live in a home that does not belong to you without the permission of those who do or shortly will (e.g. after probate) own it.
2) If you and your sister will inherit the house, but are not the only ones inheriting, the other owners cannot force you out while you and they own the home: an owner (so you, if you inherit) cannot be made to leave property he or she owns. But they could force the sale of the home: when more than one person owns a home, if they do not want to hold onto it, they can bring a legal action (lawsuit) in which they get a court order forcing the sale of the home. And as part of that sale, you could be forced to leave.
Only if you and/or your sister end up as the only owner(s) can you be guaranteed to not have to leave at some point.


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