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I live in Dallas. Last year my mother in law passed away and…

Customer Question
I live in Dallas...

I live in Dallas. Last year my mother in law passed away and left a house with a small mortgage to the bank. She had no will, and none of her other children wanted to be bothered with the house, so my husband (her next to the eldest son) and I decided to move in and pay the mortgage. My question is; Are we here illegally? We're not sure what to do because our credit isn't good enough. Also, the house was in a bad shape, so we put new carpet all through and new kitchen range, painted and added new bathroom fixtures.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Texas

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No, nothing, because we were not sure what to do or if e were allowed to do anything

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

My husband and I are both seniors, he works and I'm retired. My mother in law was in her 80's when she passed.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
1/4/2018
Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Attorney replied 1 month ago
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 40,101
Experience: 17 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

.

Are we here illegally?

.

You are not there illegally as in it being a violation of the law, but since it is the estate that owns the property, if someone decided that they wanted to file a probate case to settle her estate, they could evict you and then force a sale of the house with the proceeds divided between the children evenly after any mortgage and other debts were paid off.

.

So basically you are squatting..

.

However, if you can squat and pay the property taxes for 10 years, under TX law, you can legally claim ownership of the entire house and property it sits on under the adverse possession laws. You would file a "quiet title" lawsuit against the estate 10 years from now and a judge would then issue an order declaring you to be the sole owner of the house and property.

.

So I would be hesitant to sink a bunch of money into the house unless you were positive that none of the other children were going to smell money and then decide to come in and try to settle the estate and get paid..

.

.

thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Although the word "squatting" is kind of hard to take, I completely understand. All of the others have homes much newer and much nicer than the one we're in. It's an older house, built in 1969. It doesn't even have a dishwasher. I guess my concern is if the bank decides to make us leave. Do we have any rights
Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Attorney replied 1 month ago

The bank has no rights to do anything as long as the payments are being made.. Under federal law, they can't call in a mortgage loan as long as the heirs are paying it..

.

So that is not a concern.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
This is the last question: Since i am a senior, there are several associations that will help with things such as storm windows etc. but when they ask for the home owners, what do we say?
Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Attorney replied 1 month ago

That presents a problem because if the house has insurance on it now, you would have to continue to quietly pay it and then provide it and hope no one raises any questions about it because legally you don't own the house...

.

If there is not insurance, then it is very unlikely that any insurer will allow you to purchase insurance on a house that you don't own...

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Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Attorney replied 1 month ago

Hello again,

.

I just wanted to touch base with you and check in.

.

Did you have any further questions I can help with?

.

.

Thanks much

Barrister

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