Dad died, left all to girlfriend. Her will leaves all to my brother and me. What can we do about dad's stuff in the meantime?

Asked about 1 year ago - Escanaba, MI

She is either giving it away, or selling all his stuff, but not to us! It's making us crazy to see our family legacy handed off to others. We promised Dad to help take care of her. I know she cannot afford to stay in the house, and selling it needs to happen. But, she called my brother and told him she sold all the woodworking equipment - after she had agreed with us to keep it for a year. What if anything can we do?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Brook McCray Smith


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unless your father's friend in incompetent, your only alternative is to try to continue to work with her to preserve the property - perhaps by buying it from her if she needs money. If she is competent, she has the right to change her will and leave everything she received from your father to someone other than your brother and yourself. Discuss the matter with an estate planning attorney in your area.

    You haven't identified the other parties involved in this question so I cannot determine whether I may have a... more
  2. David B. Carter Jr.


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Nothing if she is competent.

  3. Paul A. Smolinski


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am not sure how you promised your dad you would help his friend. Financially? Is she elderly and in need of other support? What happens if she sells the house - does she get to keep all of the proceeds? Is she poor and you and your brother doing well? Do you have a good relationship with her?

    Lots of questions and many of them are more practical than legal. I suggest that you talk with a local elder law or estate planning attorney to offer you suggestions based on what is important to you.

    You can find good attorneys on this website or at

    Good luck!

    Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his... more

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