What legal steps can we take to execute a will? 15 Answers as of October 07, 2013

About 3 years ago my grandmother passed away. She had two sons only. In her will she left everything to the oldest son (my dad) to do with what he wanted to. But the younger brother went in and took everything and left the older brother (my dad) nothing. My dad (older brother) really wanted the photo albums, we have her will, is there anything he can do legally to get them from the younger brother?

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Law Office of William Stoddard | William Stoddard
Yes, but it should have been done some time ago. One should have filed the Will get appointed as executor and then one could sue the brother for conversion of the property taken. Of course, if one is only concerned about the photo albums, one should demand they be returned with an agreement that the two will share to cost to copy them for the other brother.One might do this first before seeking the power of the court to seek return from the conversion. Failure to return them could lead to contempt of court and possible jail time.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/7/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
He can file to probate the will and seek an accounting from his sibling.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/27/2013
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
He would need to be appointed to serve as the Personal representative by the Court and bring an action to turn over the assets. I suggest he retain counsel to at least address his options and the costs associated with the same. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/26/2013
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
Your father could have opened an estate and had the judge compel his brother to turn things over. It sounds like there was only personal property and no assets with title. That makes it tough, since there would be expenses involved in going through probate. It might not be worth it from a financial perspective.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/26/2013
Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C.
Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C. | Donald Scher
The steps to take after you have properly and legally drafted the Will (according to the state law where you are making the will), you have to sign/execute the Will in front of witnesses and a notary. And, the witnesses and notary have to sign the will acknowledging their action and proof that you are the person signing the Will. I also require my clients to state to the witnesses and notary that they know what they are signing, they are doing so of their own free will and without any undue influence, they have read and understand each paragraph of the Will, and they want the witnesses and notary to act on their behalf.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 9/26/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    You could file a petition to probate the estate and obtain an order naming you as the administrator with an order to compel the brother to return all assets to your control for distribution according to the will. Obtain yourself a probate attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    You can take the will to an attorney and open up an estate in probate court. If your father was named the personal representative in the will, he would have the legal right to retrieve all of your grandmother's possessions. However, it is unlikely your uncle will give it up. Even if the police is called in, if there is no proof that he took your grandmother?s belongings, i.e. someone to testify that they saw him take things out of your grandmother's house, there is little that can be done. If there is real property involved that your grandmother owned, you would have to go to probate court anyway to legally transfer the property over to your dad.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    It is probably too late now. He should have opened the probate estate and sued his brother for taking his property.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Olivier Law, LLC
    Olivier Law, LLC | Jason Olivier
    If the younger is willing to admit he took it all, then yes. Step one is to probate the will. For that you will need a lawyer and at least $2500-3000 retainer. Its going to be a fight, though.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    First you need to start probate. Then retain an attorney to assist you. He can file a motion to get the items back.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    You could probate grandma's estate; I assume that was never done if the result was so badly out of whack with the Will. If you start probate, you may be able to negotiate receiving those things that you want. This will be a difficult situation though (because of the time gone by), you do not want to try to do this without advice of an experienced probate lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, the person who has the will (the custodian of the will) should bring it to the Register of Wills/Orphans' Court as soon as practicable. The person designated as personal representative should petition to administer the estate (probate the will). The personal representative should have the authority to file a claim(s) against the person who took the estate property, and hopefully will be able to obtain the estate property to distribute to the beneficiary(s) under the will.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 9/26/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Personal property is tough to get back. You can however probate your grandmother's will to have legal authority to attempt to get the items back. If there is any value to her estate it may be worth doing it. If all she had was the personal property you will have to decide if it is worth the cost.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Yes, file a petition in probate to have the Will admitted to probate and have your Dad appointed personal representative. Cost is about $2,000. It gives you control and authority to compel the return of the property.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    Your dad can probate the will and demand that the younger brother return the stolen items.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/26/2013
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