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My father-in-law passed away. I am not in the will. I paid for bills 3 years prior to death. can I get reimbursed?

Killeen, TX |

Everything in the will went to my father-in-law's daughter. The will was probated. I lived in his house rent free for three years but paid cc bills, taxes etc.. does the daughter legally have to pay me back?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Probably not. What was your understanding with your FIL regarding the payments you made? Was it a loan? Was it payment in lieu of rent? More facts are needed. There is a theoretical claim against the estate. But this sounds really iffy to me, absent some concrete loan agreement or documentation of the agreement that you be repaid.

    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!


  2. I agree with Attorney Frederick. It appears that your father-in-law allowed you to live in the house in exchange for the payment of his expenses as a form of rent. With that said, please consult with an experienced probate attorney to see if a claim against your father-in-law's estate could prove fruitful. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


  3. I agree with both of my colleagues. It does not sound like the daughter or the estate owes you anything because you stayed in the house for the three years you paid expenses. Your remedy, if any, would be to file a creditor's claim, but I would consult with a probate attorney before deciding whether to pursue reimbursement.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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