What rights does my minor child have to the personal property of her deceased father?

With no notice to me or my daughter, her uncle and his mother have appointed themselves as co-executor’s of his estate. Previously, on several occassions, I had told both parties that before they sold any items I would like my daughter to be able to choose what she wanted of his personal effects. Since then, it has come to my attention that they have sold all of his belongings (including clothing, shoes, furniture), and only have the truck, motorcycle and home remaining. They indicated that they needed to sell these items in order to pay bills. Can we buy the truck from the estate for her?

Asked on September 21, 2012 under Estate Planning, Iowa

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should contact the court where the father's estate is pending and find out the name of the lawyer handling the estate.  Call that lawyer and get a copy of the will, if there is one.  It sounds like the father had no wife at the time of his death.  If that is true, his child should have some right to inherit if he had no will.  If he had a will, he may have left her out of it, but she should be entitled to see the will (she would be entitled to it in Florida).  Depending on the circumstances, your daughter may be entitled to something.  At a minimum, she is entitled to know what her father's assets were, who he left them to, and what has been done with them.  The lawyer should be able to tell you, and she is entitled to see the estate court file to find out.


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