Vicksburg, MI asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan

Q: As an Executor of wills and estate can i forbid entry to a house until that estate is settled?

This conserns a resident of the house, an inlaw, with sketchy and or shady friends and i do not want things coming up missing before estate disbursment

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1 Lawyer Answer
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: The short answer is, yes, you have the right to control access to the house as executor of the estate, subject to two caveats:

(1) you don't have authority to do that unless you have letters of authority from the probate court; and

(2) your right to exclude others on on behalf of the estate is subject to the rights of persons who are already in possession of the property, such as tenants, squatters, or other "residents" you referred to in your question. If there is already someone who is a resident of the house, then that person has rights to remain there under Michigan law, and they cannot be denied access to the house except through an eviction following the requirements of Michigan law.

So the upshot of this is that you probably can't forbid entry to a current resident. If you want to get that person out, you would need to file an eviction. You could exclude others from the house though. As personal representative of the estate you do have a duty to gather up, secure, and administer the assets of the estate, which may include personal property of the decedent located in the house. I'd recommend working with the current resident to gain access to the house so you can inventory and store any of the decedent's personal items so they won't get lost.

For further information, and especially for information that is tailored to your particular circumstances (and not general in nature like the advice above), make an appointment for a consult with a probate attorney in your area. There may be additional information and issues not included in your question above that could change the response given here. You will want to discuss all of that with an attorney in a consult to get the answers you need.

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