Property and Probate

Dear Len & Rosie,

My adopted father built his own home on property in Glen Ellen in 1964. My mother and I contributed substantial labor towards building up the home, road and ranch. My dad always said, "This will all be yours one day. You aren't just working for me, you're working for yourself."

My mom passed away ten years ago and since then my dad got into a relationship with one of her best friends as his significant live-in lover. My dad feels that he owes her something for living with him and caring for the place for the past nine years.

Dad says he wants her to be able to live there after he dies for as long as she wants to or unless she remarries. I have no problem with this plan but as far as I know he has not made a will to this effect. He is dragging his feet on legal paperwork.

I am afraid that when he dies, she will claim some sort of squatter's rights and try to take the place away from me or run up extreme maintenance costs that I can't cover, forcing me to sell the home. What can I do to guarantee that I will get the house and land as I was promised all these years?

Richard