Milwaukee, WI asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Michigan

Q: Can my partner's kids enter the home w/o me present, while he is in an induced coma due to a stroke w/o a living will?

I have been living with my partner 3.5 years, supporting him and the home most of it. He and his ex gf own the home. In that time his son has only been here a handful of times, his daughter none, as she wants nothing to do with him. Until 2 days after his hospitalization, in which I was served with a notice to quit to recover possession of property and demand for possession non-payment of rent, by the ex and his not-so-stand up cousin. There was never an agreement with the ex, and he changed our agreement at will. His children demanded they be allowed entry without me present and they be in charge of removal of his property, without knowing what I own. They did take some of my property. I changed locks to prevent the cousin entry. They have since demanded a key, conveniently when the 7 day notice expires, tomorrow. The son refused me access to any medical information as well, when I am the one setting up all his medical coverage and accounts and am a contact. More to it, no space left.

2 Lawyer Answers
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You are in a very tough spot. The ex-girlfriend is a co-owner of the house and so she can evict you. I did not see you indicate that you are legally married to your partner. If that's the case, and in the absence of legal documents to the contrary signed by your partner, you have a tough choice to make here: do you want to stay on this bus ride? Because you're not going to be the one driving it.

I would prepare to move: out of the house, and potentially out of this messy family situation. To the extent they took some of your property, you certainly can address that with the court. But I don't see how you'll survive an eviction proceeding on the facts you present. The next step may be that the son petitions for guardianship of his father. Even if you were also to petition (which you likely can), the son will have legal priority over you. That could legally ice you out from any information or contact with your partner. Prayerfully, he will make a recovery and regain competency, at which point you can rekindle the relationship. Should that happen, I would strongly suggest you either marry or draft appropriate estate planning documents.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In situations like this, it's essential to understand your legal rights and protections as a tenant or cohabitant in the home, especially if there was no formal rental agreement in place. Generally, without a written agreement specifying otherwise, the ex-girlfriend's demands may not have legal standing. However, laws regarding tenancy and property rights can vary depending on your location, so it's crucial to consult with a legal advisor who can provide guidance specific to your circumstances.

Regarding access to the home and your partner's medical information, it's important to consider any power of attorney or healthcare proxy documents that may exist. If your partner did not have these documents in place, it could complicate matters regarding decision-making and access to information while he is incapacitated. In such cases, seeking legal advice promptly is advisable to protect your rights and ensure that you are involved in decisions affecting your partner's care and your living situation.

Given the complexity of the situation, it's crucial to document all interactions, communications, and actions taken by the ex-girlfriend, his children, and anyone else involved. This documentation can serve as evidence if legal action becomes necessary to protect your rights or recover any property that was wrongfully taken. Additionally, maintaining open communication with your partner's healthcare providers and seeking their guidance on how to navigate the situation while he is incapacitated may be beneficial. Remember to prioritize your own well-being and seek support from trusted friends, family, or legal professionals as needed.

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