How can I retireve some of my deceased father’s possessions if he died without a Will?

My father passed 20 years ago and didn’t have a Will. He was an entertainer and had a lot of memorabilia that was left in my grandmother’s house (because he really never had a permanent residence). My grandmother passed a couple weeks ago and my aunt sold my grandmother’s house and relocated all her things to her new home a couple years ago. I asked my aunt for a picture of my father and I and was told, “Nothing was leaving her house”. Is there any way to get this photo from her legally? I have 2 brothers and we were gifted a baseball hat, a pair of suspenders and a suit.

Asked on July 8, 2012 under Estate Planning, Alabama


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  The last line of your question has me wondering here.  What do you mean you were "gifted" these items?  Do you mean before he died he told you you could have them?  All of your Father's possessions are you and your siblings and you are entitled to them.  It is hard to try and prove some things when items are left in another's possession but his profession may be a help to this. Also, your dad may have inherited under grandma's estate.  You may want to open a small estate for your Dad after all these years.  As the Personal Representative you will then have the power to act to get his things back.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.