Asked about 3 years ago - Los Angeles, CAFlag
My father passed away 1 month ago with no will, and his girlfriend and her family are living in his house, not paying the mortgage in order to save up to move out (insolvent estate, $ owed on mortgage, IRS Debt, liens). My sister thinks the house belongs to her and is harassing and terrorizing the family. She is threatening to call INS if they don't pay the mortgage directly to her. I have advised the girlfriend to file a restraining order against my sister. What are the girlfriend's rights as an illegal alien?
Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.Browse our legal dictionary
Sorry to learn of your father's death and of the problems you described. In order to assess the girlfriend's rights relating to immigration, far more information would be needed in order to determine whether she may be eligible for immigration benefits.
The girlfriend's rights and obligations about continuing to live in the house would be governed by the laws of the state where the house is located. Generally, state laws on that subject are identical for all persons regardless of their immigration status. Similarly, the ownership of property following the death of a person without a will is governed by state law. Generally, state laws on the subject create categories of relatives who would inherit property, and if your father did not have a widow, then it is likely local law would pass ownership jointly to his children.
The immigration authorities generally do not act on tips by an angry person about the location of someone suspected of not being in valid legal status, but the threats made by your sister are not risk-free. It would be wise for the girlfriend to seek legal advice from a local attorney familiar with property rights, estates and similar issues. With advice in hand, perhaps she could have a productive discussion with your sister (or other family members) about future plans.
[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]
David N. Soloway
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C.
1800 Century Place, Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30345 www.fspklaw.com
404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 * email@example.com
24,941 answers this week
2,592 professionals answering