What property is considered an asset of an estate?

My father recently died without a Will. My stepmother is the administrator of his estate. The property that I have owned for over 15 years has a garage where my father and I restored classic cars for hobby. We have both bought tools for the garage and many project cars and parts cars. The cars have a clear title and are not in his or my name. Now my sister is claiming the tools and cars are part of his estate. Most of which have been on my property for over 10 years. I have no proof of what I have purchased or what my father did. Do they have any claim?

Asked on August 24, 2014 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Personal property - such as tools, etc., - that you have an interest in at the time of your death are considered an asset of the estate.  I think that your family would be hard pressed to prove which of the tools and cars are your Father's is you are claiming they were jointly owned (is that what you are claiming)? It may be a good idea to come to some agreement as to value that you can use a s a set off against inheritance or that you can sell and give the money to the estate.  You do not want to incur legal fees over this.  Good luck.


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