Many Georgians choose to draft comprehensive estate plans for a variety of reasons. Most significantly, a well-written plan allows a person to retain some control over what happens to his or her assets after death. If an heir or someone else lives in the estate home, though, he or she may refuse to leave.
You have probably heard the old adage that possession is 9/10 of the law. When it comes to probating an estate, though, this expression does not hold much water. If you expect to inherit a property, you should understand what Georgia law says about someone who will not vacate the estate home.
Safeguarding all assets
If someone is living in a house the estate owns, he or she may not take good care of it. Alternatively, the individual may keep the property in good condition. Regardless, the estate executor has a duty to safeguard all assets, including real property.
During the probate process, the executor also becomes the owner of the house. As such, he or she has a legal right to prohibit others from occupying the estate home. If a person is living in the estate home without permission, the executor has the option of going through the eviction process.
Dealing with leases
While the executor has a right either to allow or to prohibit individuals from occupying the estate home until probate concludes, a valid lease may give a tenant certain rights. That is, if there is a lease agreement, the executor likely must respect its terms and conditions. After the lease ends, however, the executor may determine whether to continue it or to ask the tenant to vacate the property.
Whether you stand to inherit the house or simply want to preserve its condition and value, you must understand how to deal with someone who refuses to leave. Recognizing the role of the estate executor is the first step.