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Adverse possession rights could cause your estate trouble

Your loved one passed away, and you had to immediately clean out his home. It wasn't more than a few months later when you realized that while the home sat empty and you worked out the arrangements for it, someone else moved in. You don't know who it is, but now you want to get him or her out of the home so that you can sell it.

Adverse possession rights do give people the ability to walk into a home, to take possession and to live in it as if it's their own. However, there are restrictions and ways that they must live in order to obtain legal protections. The individual can't hide and must appear to be living in the home as if it's his or her own.

How long does it take for someone to obtain a home through adverse possession?

Usually, it takes several years for an individual to obtain a home through adverse possession. Living in a home for a few months without permission doesn't entitle you to the title for the property or give you the right to remain.

One complication is that you may need to go through a kind of eviction process to move the person out of the home if he or she took possession when you were unaware. If the individual refuses to leave, you may need to speak with the police to have him or her removed for trespassing or breaking and entering. It's easier to do this if you realize that someone is living in the home sooner rather than later.

At the end of the day, this property does not belong to the individual using it without permission. Your attorney can help you move the person out of the property, so you can move forward with the sale.

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