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I have been taking care of a sick uncle who had promised me that he would leave me his house the day he dies

Chico, CA |

he is 89 years old and refuses to make a will what will happen the day he dies can i still inherit the house? he says he has a lot of time to make the will but he is in poor health and i am stuck taking care of him but he will not give me the protection of having a will made.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Unless your uncle has no other heirs on his death, without a will you cannot inherit his house. If he does not make a will, the house and all other assets go to his legal heirs. You cannot "convince" him to make a will leaving the house to you as they may be considered undue influence. What you may want to do is suggest a couple of attorneys for him to call. He would need to make the appointment and go there without you so there are no questions of inpropriety, but if he understands his wishes will not be carried out without a will, and he gets comfortable with an attorney, perhaps he will make a will.


  2. I agree with Attorney James. You are at serious risk, here, of losing out on what you have agreed to. Your uncle should take care of this, right away, given the risk to you.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  3. Sorry-verbal promises are not valid.
    The uncle will have to make a will or trust
    unless you are the only heir.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


  4. There is a potential argument under promisory estoppel if you starting taking care of him for the rest of his life on the promise he would leave you his home. This is a very difficult argument to prove and oral promises would not be enough. You are in a real quandry. One thing you should make clear is you are not doing this gratuitously and expect to be compensated for your time and services now or when he dies . At least then you would be able to make some claim against his estate if you have relatives with higher priority or equal priority as you under intestacy.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.

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