Skip to main content

What are cases involving lst Amendment Rights Of Expression regarding Family Heirlooms, photos, keepsakes

Pittsburgh, PA |

Does one have the right to protect passing down family ancestral possessions, heritage? Which laws and is it under Constitutional law or Family law or what?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


The First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment protects free speech and the freedom to practice religion against government interference and bans the establishment of religion by the government. Passing down possessions is a matter for estate planning, estate administration and probate law and as far as I can see has no relation to the First Amendment. Of course you have the right to talk to your children, grandchildren and descendant's about family heritage and history without interference from the government.


You have a constitutional right to free speech which could involve passing along family stories to anyone willing to listen. You do not have the right to force someone to hear, or interfere with family/custodial decisions per se. Some more context to your question would probably help give you a better answer.

If you are wanting to pass down items that is a matter of property and inheritance or else gift law, and you may need to arrange for the gift through a trust if the recipient is too young right now. If you think you are due something from someone you can seek it, but there are no constitutional rights to property of another.

Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.


No such thing. No such right. The law has its limitations and in most of the vagaries of life, the law does not allow for a remedy.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.