Can I legally enter my late mother’s home to reclaim property if I’m a beneficiary of her estate?

UPDATED: Jan 18, 2015

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Can I legally enter my late mother’s home to reclaim property if I’m a beneficiary of her estate?

My sister is trustee of my mother’s Trust. Previously we split up the furniture, she removed hers but I waited. She is now mad at me so changed the locks at my mother’s house telling me that I will receive 1/2 of the net value of the estate once it settles.

Asked on January 18, 2015 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No you may not, and what your sister did was wrong, too:

1) No one's entitled to a districution from the estated until it's been settled (e.g. probated).

2) Only the executor (if there is a will) or administrator (no will) can access, change the locks on, etc. the deceasd's home.

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.

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