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Do I need a real estate attorney?

Jacksonville, FL |
Filed under: Real estate

My fiance and I had an oral agreement with his aunt for our home. She became deathly ill a couple months ago & her on call maintenance man started coming around asking for rent. Of course, I never gave him any money cause it was clear he did not know the agreement and was taking advantage of her situation. Unfortunately she passed away. Now he is coming by stating if we don't pay him, the lady who had power of attorney while the aunt was living is going to evict us. We have no written lease and the home is paid in full. We have been here for over one year. Can they evict us?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. A power of attorney terminates at death. They will have to open a probate to take any action. Do you know if there is a will, or if your fiance is an heir to his aunt?

    No attorney-client relationship is created by answering questions in this public forum. If you wish to create an attorney-client relationship, you must contact me directly and sign a representation agreement. Answers are provided based on general ideas and an answer specific to your situation would require a review of all documents.


  2. You should consult an attorney experienced in probate law about your situation. However, the maintenance man and the lady with the power of attorney have no authority to evict you. As Attorney Chen said, a power of attorney terminates at death. To take any action concerning the property, a personal representative will have to be appointed by the probate court. What eventually becomes of the property will depend on whether or not the aunt had a will or not. If she did not have a will, it will depend on which relatives survived the aunt. In any event, the oral agreement you and your husband had will his aunt will have no bearing on the final disposition of the property.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.


  3. As the other two answers stated, the answer to this question will depend on the disposition of your aunt's estate in probate. Do you know if a personal representative has been appointed for the estate? If so, you should talk to the representative about where and to whom rent payments should be made. Even if you do not know who to contact regarding payment of rent, you should put the money you would have been paying in rent aside so that it will be available when you figure out where the payments should go.

    This answer is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. There may be relevant facts not included in the question that could change this answer. For specific advice, please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.


  4. They can't evict you with just a Power of Attorney. The POA is void now that the grantor is deceased. If the aunt left a will, it should name an executor of her estate. If she died without a last will and testament, then the family members should get together and hire an attorney for probate.

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