Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

If you are living in the house of the deceased and none of the executors have signed in do they have the legal right to evict you from the home?

Asked on 12/04/14, 9:38 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

This is a mess. Why do you get to live in the home rent free? Why is there more than one executor? What have they not signed? More importantly, who died, when, was there a will, what assets did the dead person have and what debts did the dead person owe? Who are the executors and have they probated the estate?

There should only be one executor. If the will named more than one to serve jointly then one should serve and the others should renounce. There is no reason for more than one person to serve. The executor's job is to find out what the decedent owned and owed, pay all just debts and to transfer the assets to any beneficiaries once the estate administration is complete and the final accounting has been confirmed by the court or clerk.

The executors can take charge of any property and can even make early distributions of property to the designated heirs if it would be in the interest of the estate that they do so. Title however vests in the beneficiaries of the estate.

So I need to know is there a will and if so then what does it say about who gets the land? If there is no will, then are you an heir under the intestacy laws and how many other heirs are there? If you are to get the land solely is there enough assets in the estate to cover any claims against the estate? Debts have to be paid before the heirs/beneficiaries get anything.

The answers to the above will dictate what you do. If the executors are not doing their job, they can be compelled to do their job or face removal by the court/clerk. If the estate is already probated and you are buying out the share of the other heirs, then you will need a real estate attorney to bring what is called a partition action if the others are now reluctant to sell.

I suggest that since you post no details that you sit down with a probate attorney who practices in the county/state where the real estate is located and where the estate is or would be pending for the deceased. Pay the attorney to review the will, if any, as well as any inventory/accounting on file and deeds to the property and give you more specific direction.

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Answered on 12/07/14, 6:02 pm

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