A good friend of mine finace died last Fridayin his sleep. Now the wedding has been anounces and was set to happen later this month. She noified the 2 daughter and the imediately drove 100 miles to the deceased residence. The immediadelty removed several laptops one was the fiancee's and his cell phone and some other stuff. The police were called and they were allowed remove the property & left. Monday they called and told the fiancee they were coming on Friday to remove 2 end-high TVs, a car,trailer& other possessions of his.The fincee has not seen this will so she called an atty who advised not to let them in. Fri.they came and the same police rolled out &allowed them to remove the property just by showing an alleged will and no ID! Is this legal? 2nd will was found and was ignored
Medicaid / Medicare Attorney
This is difficult to answer without more information. Since the property was the personal property of the decedent (except for the laptop of the fiancee), most likely his legal heirs do have a right to it. However, if there was a 2nd Will that named the fiancee as the beneficiary of any of the decedent's estate, then those assets can be gotten back. The police did not have the authority to allow the heirs to enter into the home to remove the assets, their role would only to have been to keep the peace. They do not make legal decisions on the validity of a Will. If the heirs took anything of the fiancee's, they can be sued for conversion, perhaps in small claims court. I would need to know what was in the 2nd Will, and if it mentioned anything about how he wanted his estate distributed. I agree with the attorney that the fiancee should not have left them in. The police were bluffing if they implied they had the authority to all the heirs to remove any assets. There would need to have been a court order for the police to enforce.
5 lawyers agree
Estate Planning Attorney
If your friend called an attorney and is represented in this matter, then your friend should be asking these questions to her lawyer. If she is not represented, the general rule is that until an executor is appointed by the court, no one has the legal authority to handle the decedent's property. In reality, that is not always practical. As for the police actions, they are certainly suspect, based on the facts, as presented. This scenario requires an in depth review between the fiancé and a probate attorney.
When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.
1 lawyer agrees