Q: My husband was left his grandmother house in a will. But his father is the executor or person in charge of everything. One minute he wants to give us the house. Then, the next minute he wants to rent it out. It will be one-year next month. We are paying the bills to keep the lights on, water bill, and just started two months ago paying the taxes and house insurance. We are not sure if we should move in because we are scared he might put us out. (West Mifflin, PA)
A: You are not saying if grandmother died yet. If she did not die, she and only she can draft another will changing the disposition of her property. If your husband’s father does not like the fact that you will inherit the house, he is stuck unless he commits fraud by destroying the will, or has grandmother execute another will which can only be done if she is competent. He could also sell the house through a legal Power of Attorney, assuming she has one naming him as agent in which he is authorized to sell her home. Different story if grandmother has died. If there is an estate opened for grandmother, your father-in-law must follow the directives of the will and the estate attorney should be advising him to do so. Since it sounds like the house was specifically devised (given) to you, the only way that gift could be thwarted is if there are not enough estate assets to pay debt which would require the estate to sell the house. If that is not an issue, you may want to consult with an attorney. If grandmother has not died and her will is in your father-in-law’s custody, you need to be careful. You should get a copy and consult with an attorney. There may be a legal procedure whereby a petition can be filed in court to produce the will and hold it in escrow. You want to make sure the will is preserved.