How does a family go about getting access to a family members apartment after they pass away?

Asked 8 months ago - Lansing, MI

My sister passed away 2 weeks ago and her DPOA is refusing to let the family into her apartment. My sister was never married and had no children. Do I petition for order and assignment? We have not seen a will or any other legal document.

Additional information

My parents had to pay the funeral costs because they refused to go along with the "friends" request to have my sisters cremains divided up 5 ways. So someone collected on her life insurance and everything else at this point.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Petition for Order and Assignment is one option, particularly if you were the one who paid funeral expenses. If you were NOT that person, then the court will order that that person be reimbursed, first, before anyone else gets assets.

    There is a non-court small estate procedure in Michigan, which may get you what you need. The form is located, here: http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/...

    If there is an active dispute with the Agent, (whose legal authority terminated upon your sister's death), then you may need to consult with an attorney.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more
  2. David B. Carter Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . DPOA is invalid after death, it expires at time of death. If this individual is not allowing access you should open up a probate estate ASAP. Contact a lawyer quickly. We would know what to do to preserve the assets.

    James P. Frederick
    James P. Frederick, Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
    Posted 8 months ago.

    I agree that an probate estate should be opened, if there are assets beyond just the household items in the apartment. It may also be necessary, (but perhaps cost prohibitive), if there is a dispute which cannot be resolved, between competing interests.

    No photo
    Asker
    Posted 8 months ago.

    I called the Michigan State Police, Ingham County Police and Lansing Police on Saturday to have people removed from my sisters apartment and was told they would not respond because my sister gave her permission before she passed. And this person is giving away my sisters belongings.

    David B. Carter Jr.
    David B. Carter Jr., Estate Planning Attorney - Charlotte, MI
    Posted 8 months ago.

    You need an attorney to intervene.

    James P. Frederick
    James P. Frederick, Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
    Posted 8 months ago.

    I agree with Mr. Carter. Under those circumstances, a Petition and Order for Assignment may well help you gain control. An attorney can also help give you some added legal authority.

    No photo
    Asker
    Posted 8 months ago.

    Thank you both. I have the signed Petition and Order for Assignment.

    James P. Frederick
    James P. Frederick, Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
    Posted 8 months ago.

    Best of luck to you. You will need to file the Petition with the Court. They will charge a $25 filing fee, plus a nominal inventory fee based on the value of the assets. You will also need to provide the court with a receipt for the paid funeral expenses. The court will then issue an Order for $12. This can all be done in one trip to court. You do not need a hearing and you will not need to go in front of a judge. Hopefully, that will take care of the issue, for good.

    No photo
    Asker
    Posted 8 months ago.

    I have done all that and it is signed. I am now tracking down the apt owner. THank you again

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