My Deceased Father's house

by Robin
(Heber City Utah)

My father just died in a retirement home. Me and my husband and son live in his house. He has a lean on the house to pay for his stay and the retirement home. Can we stay living in his house? If so, for how long?

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Jul 12, 2012
My Deceased Father's house

There are a couple issues at play here. First, did your father leave his home to you? If he left it to someone else, you won't be able to continue living there unless the new owner says it's okay.

If your father died without legally determining who would inherit his home then the laws of his state will decide who will end up owning it. If his wife is still alive, the law in your state probably says that she is entitled to the home. If not, you and any siblings you may have would be equally entitled to the home.

As for the lien on the home, the retirement home used it to guarantee that it would get paid for your father's time there. Therefore, if your father died owing money to the retirement home and you want to continue living in your father's home, you will have to figure out a way to pay the amount of the lien. Otherwise, the retirement home is legally entitled to take the home and sell it to pay off as much of the lien as possible. If there is any money left over from the sale, your father's wife or you and your siblings will get it.

I have no way of telling you how long all of this will take. However, if you want to remain in the home, I would begin to figure out how you might do that right away. It's not a last minute sort of thing.

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