Can my mother remove my children and I from my grandmother’s home in which I have lived for over 34 years?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my mother remove my children and I from my grandmother’s home in which I have lived for over 34 years?

I have lived in my grandmother’s home all of my life (34 years). She recently passed away and now her daughter (my mother) wants me to leave. Can my mother remove me and my children? She moved in here a year ago and the home is still in my grandmother’s name and so are the bills. My grandmother did not have a Will and my uncle has also lived here all of his life.

Asked on March 21, 2011 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, she probably can do this.  Unless there was some writing that allowed you to live there after her death (e.g. a "life estate"), you have no legal right to stay.  Let me explain.  When someone dies without a Will they are said to have died "intestate".  Accordingly, the laws of the state where they died will control the distribution of their estate.  Typically, most state statutes provide that the surviving spouse, if any, and the deceased's children are the heirs to the estate.  In your case, since you did not mention a spouse, I will assume that your grandmother was not married when she passed.  Therefore, your mother, her brother (your uncle) and any other siblings would divide your grandmother's assets.

However, at this point, her estate would need to be probated.  That means that someone, usually a family member or close friend, will be appointed as a Personal Representative by the Probate Court (this is like an executor if there is a Will).  The PR administers estate matters until the estate is closed.  So if you or your uncle were made PR, you could at least stay until title to the property is turned over to the heirs (your mother and uncle).  If your mother gets appointed PR, then she can serve you with a 30 day notice to vacate.  If you are not our by then, she will have to file an "unlawful detainer" action (i.e. eviction).  The whole process can take 4-8 weeks depending on the jurisidiction.  If you are still not out by the end of the lawsuit, a sheriff can come and remove you physically if necessary (but at least it will give you time to find another place to stay).

That all having been said, this is just a brief summary of the law based on the limited facts given.  Speak to a real estate attorney in your area for further information.  If money is an issue try Legal Aid or see if there is a law school nearby to where you live (they typically run free/low cost legal clinics that can help).  You can also try your state's Department of Social Services and see if they can refer you to a lawyer.  Finally, you can contact the county bar association; they have lists of lawyers that take cases for free/low cost depending upon the circumstances and your finances.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption