Can the executor of a will keep a sibling from removing their items from a dead parent's home? - Estate Planning Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can the executor of a will keep a sibling from removing their items from a dead parent's home?

Answer By Kimberly Moss
The Law Office of Kimberly D. Moss
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The executor of a will's role is to present the deceased person's (also known as the decedent) will to the probate court in the county where he or she died or owned property. The executor's primary function is to ensure that the decedent's wishes are carried out, and that could potentially include preventing other family members from removing items from that person's home. The exectuor's responsibility is determined by the terms of the decedent's will, so to answer your question, it may be a valid use of the executor's authority to keep a sibling from removing items from the decedent's home. Please consult an estate planning attorney in your area for more information.

Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/23/2014

Answer By Joseph Schramm

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Once the executor of an estate has been sworn in upon petition and probate of the will they have the obligation to collect the assets of the decedent 's estate for administration. This consists of the payment of debts of the decedent, the payment of inheritance taxes, the payment of filing fees and costs of administration and the distribution of the net assets according to the terms of the decedent's will, if possible. While the executor is only to collect the assets of the decedent, sometimes there can arise a conflict where, as here, a person other than the decedent claims that particular items belong to the them instead of the decedent. If the executor agrees that the items belong to you, they cannot withhold them because you have a right to remove them from the house. If there is a dispute as to the ownership of the items, you can file a claim with the probate court asking it to prohibit the distribution of the asset as part of the administration of the estate.

Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 6/26/2014


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Yes if there is a dispute as to who owns the property being taken.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/26/2014

Answer By James T. Weiner
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
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Generally the only way that the executor should do that is if there is some question about who owns the items. The estate or the sibling.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/26/2014

Answer By Dara Goldsmith
Goldsmith & Guymon
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Possibly. Can the sibling prove ownership? If so, the executor may allow supervised access to remove those items. If not, then the sibling may need to petition the court to authorize the same. Best of luck to you. This response does not establish an attorney client relationship. It is merely a response to a hypothetical question with limited facts. Other facts may change the answer. If unsure, seek legal counsel.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/25/2014

Answer By Ronald K. Nims

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Certainly, but only if the executor has been appointed by the probate court. Just because Mom's will says "Johnny will be my executor", it doesn't automatically make you the executor, you have to file the paperwork and be appointed by the court. Once an executor is appointed, the executor becomes the custodian of all property of the deceased and the executor has both the right and the duty to secure the property, if this means changing the locks, change the locks, if this means moving the items to a storage unit, move them to the unit.

Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/25/2014

Answer By Thomas E. Gates

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It depends. If there is no disagreement of the owner of the property, the personal property may be moved. However, if its personal property of the deceased the executor has the right to prevent its removal.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/25/2014


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The answer is probably yes, but I need you to define the terms "their items." Do you mean the sibling's property? Do you mean the PR's property? Do you mean the assets of the estate? The personal representative is in charge of the assets of the estate. The PR would also be able to prevent conversion of her own property. If the sibling has assets in the home, the PR would have no authority over such items.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/25/2014

Answer By Edwin K. Niles

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Their meaning whom? Sibling should be able to retrieve items owned by that sibling. Otherwise, the executor has the duty to protect all estate assets.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/25/2014

Answer By George H. Shers

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Yes, if it has not yet been determined who actually owns the item 100%.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/25/2014

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