Can someone file a lawsuit over a family picture on parent’s funeral? 11 Answers as of April 15, 2014

A parent dies with $0 assets. One of the siblings paid for the funeral expenses. The other sibling is demanding the family pictures. Can the sibling who’s demanding the family picture sue the sibling who paid for the funeral over family pictures?

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Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
Anyone can sue anybody for anything. The question is whether there is a case. Sounds like this may be headed for small claims court.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/15/2014
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
You can sue for anything in this country; question is will you win, and can you afford the litigation costs, and fees.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2014
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
Administrative expenses of the estate must be paid before any assets are distrusted. The pictures are an asset of the estate. The pictures have no value. Is the creditor of the estate accepting the pictures in satisfaction of the claim against the estate? Anyone can try to sue anyone else for anything. If. The matter is sufficiently frivolous the court can assess damages against the person bringing the frivolous suit.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/15/2014
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
Can sibling sue? Yes. Does anybody out there know how easy it is in this day and age to make copies of pictures? Or are two lawyers going to make a lot of money on this?
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 4/15/2014
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
A person can sue over whatever they want to. Whether it will be successful or not is the tougher question. It is very unlikely to happen in this situation, in my opinion. The person paying the funeral expenses is entitled to reimbursement from the estate. Since the estate has no other assets, there is a good argument that the pictures should belong to the person paying the expenses.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/15/2014
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Yes, unfortunately anyone can sue anyone over just about anything. Whether they can win is a different question. Issues like this should be resolved privately within the family.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The court appointed executor determines how the estate is to be divided if there was no will. The funeral expenses should have been shared by all of the siblings.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Anyone can file suit against anyone else, no matter how trivial the issue. And funerals often bring out the worst in families. A better solution would be to have the family member who wants to keep the pictures to pay for copies of them to be made and given to the person who paid for the funeral. Paying for the funeral dies not entitle one child to a greater share of the "estate" than any other child, but some effort should be made to reimburse him/her if at all possible.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If there is no will, each child gets to divide up the estate in what ever way that they can agree on. If you take it to court the judge will likely divide it where each child gets an equal share.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Sure, she can sue. Don't know if she will win. However, in the great scheme of things, wouldn't it be better to take the photos to a shop, have them duplicated and tell sis she can have them when she pays the expense of the copies?
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Anyone can file a lawsuit. Honestly it should not be necessary. Family should SHARE memories not keep them from each other. There are easy ways to share pictures such as making copies both digital and hard copies. Work it out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2014
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