A Family Member Is Living in the Decedent’s Home and Refuses to Leave. What Do I Do?

If the person is residing in the home pursuant to a valid lease agreement, then you must abide by the terms of the lease agreement. Otherwise, if the home is part of the Estate, the Executor has the authority to determine who may reside in the home. If the home is part of the Trust Estate, then the Trustee has the legal authority to determine who may reside in the home. It is important to note that if the Executor or Trustee does authorize someone to live in the Estate home, even if it is a family member, the family member should pay fair market rent to the Estate, unless all Beneficiaries of the Estate agree otherwise.

If the person is residing in the home without the proper authority of the Executor or Trustee, then they can be evicted using the same process by which a landlord might evict a squatting tenant. The eviction process is handled through a different division of the Court from the Estate proceeding.

 

Losing a loved one is hard. The days and weeks after a loss are often fraught with grief, questions, and unfortunately, family complications. It’s a terrible time to try to think through a legal process clearly. It’s often a challenge just to know where to start. Maybe you’re not even sure what questions to ask and whom to ask. How do you know you’re getting good advice and doing it right? You could probably use some help. Our Understanding Estate Administration guide can help. This guide will give you an overview of the probate and estate administration process in plain English. Request your free copy here.

 

Jennifer Mercer
Paralegal, Probate and Estate Administration Team Lead