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EULawyer, Lawyer
Category: European Law
Satisfied Customers: 247
Experience:  Titular Attorney (Avocat) at Ioan-Luca Vlad Law Office
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I am about to inherit a property from my father who sadly is

Customer Question

I am about to inherit a property from my father who sadly is about to pass away. The property consists of two apartments upstairs and two shops below. The issue is this: my father had a woman living with him (he divorced 20 years ago) - for 14 years. She is 62 years old. She and my dad kept their finances separate and he never acknowledged her as a de facto wife despite her wanting him to. She is from the Ukraine and we think he gave her a "housekeeping" position in the beginning which she then used to show the Portuguese authorities that she had a "job" with him so they would renew her visa. I think she now has permanent residency. At no time did they submit joint tax returns as couples would, married or de facto, and basically it was a situation with my dad just having someone there for company. What are my legal rights here in terms of wanting to remove her from the property after giving her enough fair and reasonable time to vacate?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: European Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your post. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Where does your father currently reside? If in the US, in which state do they reside in, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He resides in Portugal
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.


We here do not have Portuguese professionals. If you wish, I can help research this for you, but as I am US based and licensed I cannot guarantee that my answers would be correct. Please advise if you wish for me to continue. Otherwise I can ask that the moderators close out this question. Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need specific Portuguese law interpretations. I would ask that you close the question.
Expert:  EULawyer replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

As an EU qualified attorney, I would be very happy to answer your question.

Under Portuguese law, anyone who has been living with an unmarried or legally separated person at the time of their death for more than two years, under conditions similar to those of spouses is entitled to apply (within 2 years of death) for maintenance from the estate of the deceased if she cannot obtain maintenance from her own relatives or there aren't any.

"Maintenance" means basically everything one needs for a basic decent life (food, clothing, housing). However, even if she does go through this kind of judicial action, you may be entitled to change her residence (i.e. offer her a smaller apartment or a rental place). Make sure, however, that your father (maybe you could ask him while alive) did not sign any kind of contract with her, especially not a notarized contract, regarding the right to live in the house. Furthermore, your father might also have made a Will. If he did, he would have been entitled to leave her either a part of the house, or the right to live inside it for the rest of her life. In either case (contract or Will) she would have a document which is legally binding on the heirs (i.e. you), and which you could contest only through a Portuguese court.

What I would suggest is politely inquiring about what are her plans for the future, and explain that you will need the house for yourself, and present alternative suggestions. If you do reach an agreement with her, make sure you go to the local Portuguese notary to get it authenticated, so that nobody changes their mind afterwards.

If you do not agree and have to go to court to get her evicted, the Portuguese court closest to where the house is situated would be competent. To help you find a local notary / attorney and the specific court, you should use the portal, with the options "Find a ... (lawyer / notary)" as well as the European Judicial Atlas, choosing Portugal, here:

I hope my answer helped you find your options, and I would be happy if you could accept and rate it.


Dr. Ioan-Luca Vlad

Expert:  EULawyer replied 1 year ago.

Dear Sir,

I would appreciate very much a rating. I have worked hard to offer you a complete answer, and if you will not rate, then I would not get paid for my work.

Thank you,

Dr. Ioan-Luca Vlad

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