People who immigrate to the U.S. without following the legal procedures for doing so, live in precarious legal situations, but that does not mean that they do not have rights, including the right to inherit property.
Most people are aware that illegal immigrants to the U.S. can be deported at almost any time, unless they can convince an immigration court to let them stay. The Obama administration has deported millions and President-elect Trump has vowed to deport millions more. Many people wonder what rights these illegal immigrants have in the U.S., including one woman who recently wrote into Market Watch to ask “My brother-in-law is an undocumented immigrant — can he inherit my sister’s house?”
According to the letter writer, her deceased sister had been married to an undocumented immigrant for 30 years. The husband never applied for a green card or U.S. citizenship. The sister passed away with a house in her name. According to the writer, the husband is afraid to put the house in his name and claim the inheritance, because he fears deportation.
She wonders whether he can inherit the property.
The simple answer is that he can inherit the property.
With some restrictions, foreigners can own real estate in the U.S. Estate law does not discriminate against non-US citizens.
Of course, that does not mean that the husband cannot be deported. He should do what he should have done a long time ago – call an immigration attorney to discuss his options to stay in the U.S. legally.
Reference: Market Watch (November 27, 2016) “My brother-in-law is an undocumented immigrant — can he inherit my sister’s house?”
I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.
The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!
Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.
Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!
I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!