WHO HAS USE OF PROPERTY WHEN SOMEONE DIES?

Question:

Is it illegal to occupy a house that is in Probate?
My mother has died and my brothers are saying that I must move out of the house owned by my Mother. The house is completely paid off and I want to stay in the house. Is it legal to stay in the house while it is going through Probate?

Response:

It is not illegal to occupy a house of a South Carolina decedent if the heirs approve. However, the Personal Representative has the right to administer the property and make sure the property is properly maintained. The Personal Representative may be willing to work out a rental agreement with you.

Because you lived in the house before the death of your mother does not give you the right to live in the house after the death of your mother. You may own a portion of the house as an heir of your mother, but, your bothers may also own a portion of the house.

You need to meet with an attorney at once to determine your rights. It may be that the house was left to you in a will executed by your Mother. The correct answer will be determined by whether your mother left a will, if you and your brothers are the only heirs, whether your mother actually owned the entire property or only a portion of the property.

An attorney can help you determine your rights and a plan of action can be determined. You need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to find out what is going on with the Estate of your Mother.

About Nathan Davis, Esquire

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Nathan Davis has been practicing law for many years. Mr. Davis has a wide variety of experiences having practiced domestic relations, criminal law, social security law having also practiced collection law in the past. This knowledge is helpful when someone needs to restart their financial life. The practice is now primarily bankruptcy and debtor representation work, but, Mr. Davis continues to also practice real estate law, trusts and estates and a general litigation practice. I believe that the most important part of representation is trying to leave you better off when the case is finished than when you started. Although I will do as my client directs, I will always tell you if I think that you are making a mistake. Bankruptcy is about a "fresh start". If you do not make changes in what you are doing, you will be doing what you are doing now in the future. There is no shame in bankruptcy or other steps that you may take to start your life over. Too often, people worry more about things than about themselves, their family or their future.
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