What law governs an executor’s right to have siblings evicted from deceased parent’s home?

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2010

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What law governs an executor’s right to have siblings evicted from deceased parent’s home?

My husband, children and I are currently living in my deceased mother’s home along with another sibling. We pay the monthly bills and maintenance of the house. The older sibling who is the executor and has a home of her own has stated that if she wanted to she have the right to have any of us thrown out. What law governs this right? I was told that there is an act that states that a person who contributes for more than 5 years towards the bills and upkeep of the home has rights over that home.

Asked on July 22, 2010 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You are incorrect, unfortunately--paying bills or for the upkeep to a home does not give one any rights to the home. Under certain circumstances, and depending on any agreements, it may give one a right to reside there, at least for some time (e.g. the payments are treated as rent) or give one a right to reimbursement of some or all of the costs. On the other hand, if you have been living there, then it could easily be that the amounts you have paid will be taken to be rent for the time you have been residing there, meaning that it was "rent" for the tenancy or occupancy you've already had, giving you no further or forward looking rights. Never pay someone's bills without a written agreement memorandizing what rights you get in exchange for doing so.

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