If your parent wishes to allow a friend to live in their house after they die while still leaving their New York property to you, there are three ways that this can play out. Encourage your parent to think carefully about their estate plan and recommend that they see a professional to make sure their wishes are carried out properly.

First possible outcome

Your parent leaves you the property immediately upon their death. In this instance, you can decide whether you will honor your parent’s wish to allow their friend to continue to live on the property. At that point, it does not matter if your parent “promised” them that they could continue to live there rent-free until their death; the property is now yours, and you can choose to do as you wish.

Second possible outcome

Your parent’s will actually leaves the property to the tenant without proper rights of survivorship. This means that the tenant now owns the property, and it is up to them to execute a will that leaves you the property after they die. In essence, you have been cut out of the will.

Third possible outcome

Your parent consulted with an estate law professional, and the estate plan was properly documented. This means that the tenant may stay on the property as long as they meet any stipulations written into the estate plan, such as maintenance and upkeep of the property, no new roommates, etc. When the tenant dies, you will be able to assume ownership of the property.

If the tenant fails to adhere to any stipulations included in the estate plan, you may have legal recourse to evict them. In this case, you may wish to consult with an estate planning professional.