Montclair, NJ asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: I just became the executor of my father’s estate. He currently owns a home in Pennsylvania with his girlfriend.

I have to sell my father‘s house due to the amount of debt he accumulated over the years. She hasn’t been keeping up with the mortgage payment, which is now three months behind. Can I sell my father‘s house while behind on payments? Do I need to give my father’s girlfriend, an eviction notice to get her out of the house and repay the amounts of mortgage payments?

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1 Lawyer Answer
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Who is on the deed to the residence? Look at the most recent deed of record, the chain of title. Life estates? You can have a title search done for both ownership and all liens, and you should do that, as the personal rep of the Estate. If the Estate has a lawyer, that probate lawyer will know of title search companies.

If the Estate owns the residence outright, with no ownship rights of the "girlfriend", you may opt for some compulsory ouster of the girlfriend, but first confer with an experienced attorney about the issues that may arise in such proceedings. An overture to the girlfriend/current tenant, once you have conferred with counsel, is probably advisable to determine whether she will agree to withdraw without the costs of counsel's involvement.

In addition, it is most probably wise to communicate with the lender to advise of the death and developments. It's way easier to work with a lender than against it, and when a borrower or his rep communicates with the lender, that lender can relax somewhat.

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