The owner of my house just passed. He was suppose to sell the house to me in 2013

Asked over 1 year ago - Lakeland, FL

I have paid the property taxes, insurance, and interest on his loan for 20 months now........I dont beleive he has a will.....................the bank told me one week after his passing they had to wait for family to do anything about the house............without his acct number for his loan I cant even make payments, I have money and lots of time invested in the house. Am on disability and dont know what I can do. There are several people who knew Gene wanted me to have the house.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Marshall C Deason Jr.


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . I agree with Attorney Johnson. I would add that you probably qualify as an interest person who can open the probate estate - this would give you the ability to make mortgage payments. In addition, you should try to contact Gene's family to work out an arrangement that will let you stay in the house. An experienced lawyer in your area can help you with this.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does... more
  2. Carol Anne Johnson

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . If he does not have a will, and you are not a descendant of his, then you will not get the home. You will have to wait until the property is conveyed either through probate or by intestacy. After that, you can explain the situation to family members who will most likely be glad to have a ready and willing buyer. Without something in writing from the deceased, you will have no claim on the property that is readily enforceable. Even a memorandum that indicates the desire to sell you the home would work. Hopefully, Gene mentioned to his family, too, that he wanted you to have the home - and, that his wishes matter to them. If not, you should seek the advice of a good local real estate attorney.

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate,... more
  3. John R. Griffith

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . These responses are all quite correct in my opinion. Is the house located in Lakeland/Polk County? Do you know any of the heirs of the decedent? You may (and I stress "may") have some sort of equitable claim for the mortgage and tax payments - if your occupancy, or co-occupancy of the property isn't considered similar to a rental situation. Others are correct, that the sale or transfer of property is not enforceable in the state of Florida, unless in writing, signed by the party against who (whom?) tou would be seeking to enforce the agreement - so without some cooperation from the heirs, you likely would not have a very good case. As someone else mentioned, you could file what is called a "caveat" in probate court, which would give you notice of any subsequent probate proceeding - based upon your past payments and as a potential claimant/creditor of the decedent's estate. If you e-mail me the name of the property owner and address of the property, I would do some preliminary checking. My email is:

    Good luck.

  4. Alexander Mchenry Memmen

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . It is very unlikely that you will be able to enforce the agreement, if the named beneficiaries in the will do not want to sell it to you. Generally, the statute of frauds says that a contract to convey property must be in writing. Talk to a local attorney to see if you have any options.

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