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


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.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.