My sister and I just inherited my father's house. The property was paid off. His significant other is still living there. We would like for her to continue living there but would like some type of legal document to protect ourselves. There are expenses we would like for her to cover like insurance, taxes, etc. What is the best way to proceed with this. We live in Florida.
For everyone’s sake it is a good idea to get everything in writing as to what you agree to. In this case you can enter into a long term lease situation with her which would allow for her to be evicted if she did not keep
up the property or did not pay the necessary expenses. It would also protect her and her right to remain. I suggest you have an attorney draw up the necessary paperwork to make sure everything is covered.
This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship. The answer is for information purposes only and is based on the limited information you provided.
I would suggest that the first thing you do is hire a real property lawyer to help you.
Consider a lease at $1 a year that requires the things you want to be done. It could have an "evergreen clause" so that it renews every year unless either party notifies the other 1 month before the renewal date.
It is good that you regard this partner as one who should remain, but someone has to pay the insurance and taxes.....and that is reasonable rent, if you ask me.
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There are a number of ways to accomplish this, a life estate, a trust, a long term lease, etc. - each with their own liability issues, tax implications, rights of inheritance, etc.. Your best bet here is to consult with a good local real estate lawyer in the county in which the [property is located; he or she can explain the plusses and minuses of each, and then you can all decide what is best for your situation.
Hope this helps.
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A long term, specifically worded, lease agreement is the way to go. Avoid a life estate deed. When you meet with your attorney ask about how to protect your interest in the property from claims by others since the property has no homestead exemption.
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