How do I get my deceased father’s belongs back from his girlfriend?

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How do I get my deceased father’s belongs back from his girlfriend?

Asked on July 19, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

*His* belonging do not belong to her necessarily; they belong to whomever will inherit them. If he had a will, that will be whomever gets them under the will (which could be the girlfriend); if there is no will, they will pass to intestate succession, which will distribute them to family members (e.g. you) but not to unmarried girlfriends.

However, the issue may be:

1) Is "his" belonging something that she actually bought or which they bought together (like furniture), in which case she may have an ownership interest?

2) Even if it was originally his, did he gift it to her? If he gave it to her as a gift, it is now hers.

Short answer: you may have a legal right to many of these items, but if she will claim they were gifts or that she paid for them, it may be difficult to prove otherwise. Unless there is something of significant value or considerable emotional/sentimental worth, it may not be worthwhile to take action.


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