Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin

Q: My father passed away and I am the sole heir, his girlfriend lives in his house for 5 years and does not pay rent.

Can I change the locks on his garages while we try to get her out of the house?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Thomas B. Burton

Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: You should see if your father executed a Will before he died. If he had a Will, this document will state what was to happen to his assets and should name a Personal Representative in charge of the Estate. Your Father's house is now owned by his Estate, and unless his Will stated that his girlfriend could remain in the home for a period of time after his death, then she likely has no right to remain in the home after your father's death. The Personal Representative will be the person in charge of securing the estate, administering the assets, and ultimately distributing the assets to heirs under the supervision of the probate court. The Personal Representative would also be the person in charge of changing the locks on the house at some point, but they should not proceed before they have been appointed by the Court. I recommend you seek the help of a qualified probate attorney with these matters.

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