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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35835
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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I am 55, I am an heir to a trust fund which was left in

Customer Question

My name is ***** ***** I am 55, I am an heir to a trust fund which was left in place by my late father, a law firm called Wolf, Slatkin and Madison (WSM)..are the assessors too the estate, my father passed away in May of 2013, my father lived on a 120acre ranch, he willed the ranch too my only son, two nephews and one niece which are bothers and sister....in the will it stipulated no properties are too be liquidated for 10yrs from the date of my fathers passing....A few days after my fathers death, WSM met me out on my fathers estate, ask me to stay and take care of my fathers ranch, until it such time the property could be sold in 10yrs, with that Mr. Anderson Jr, u do not have too pay any bills too live here in your fathers home, all u have too do is take care of his place, take care of the livestock and the dog dog, @ the time i was renting a townhouse, so I left my home and moved out to my Fathers ranch. I have been living here on my Fathers estate a few months shy of 3yrs of his passing...The other day I received a letter from WSM stating that...My sisters kids our putting pressure on him too start charging me too live in my late fathers home..now my question is do I have any rights because I feel i was misinformed and or mislead with what I was told @ the beginning, I feel if they would have told me I would have been responsible for paying, rent utilities and still do the upkeep, I would have never of left my townhome of which I could afford..i feel WSM mislead me in leaving my home, they mentioned in the letter that they will compensate me for my hours of labor taking care of the place..but if I continue too live here, then we want u to start paying rent and utilities...do I have any rights.. Anderson Jr
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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now my question is do I have any rights because I feel i was misinformed and or mislead with what I was told @ the beginning,

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Unfortunately, without any type of written contract stating that you had the right to live there rent free in return for taking care of things, what has resulted is a month to month tenancy which can be changed, modified, or even terminated with a written 30 day notice.

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With that said, it is up to the trustees of the trust to determine how to manage the assets of the trust, including how the property is managed and maintained. So if they want you to pay rent, then you would be a regular tenant and have no duty to maintain the property or perform upkeep or maintenance on it. So the trustees would be liable for things like mowing, house maintenance, animal maintenance, etc. That means that they will have to pay someone to do this instead of you doing it in exchange for living there rent free.

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So you could try and negotiate where you actually agree to pay rent, but they pay you for the time that you spend maintaining the property so it would essentially be an equal trade, although on paper you would be paying rent.

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But to be honest, if they want to hire someone else to do the work, and just charge you rent, then you would have to pay it once they give proper notice or the trustees could evict you through the courts in about 2 months.

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thanks

Barrister