How do I include my mother’s furniture and belongings in probate without an attorney?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do I include my mother’s furniture and belongings in probate without an attorney?

My mother passed unexpectedly about 3 weeks ago, and she did not have a Will. I am her only child. She was living with a boyfriend of many years, and shared the lease with him. This boyfriend was abusive verbally and physically to her, and the police have many calls on record for showing up to the address, but there are no charges that have ever been filed. He is claiming that he will be keeping all of her furniture, including what is in her room. They did not share a room. We have no receipts or any paperwork that shows proof that she owned it, aside from it being in her room. There are other pieces of furniture in the living room that is hers as well. How can I prevent him from claiming they are his and make sure probate will include them? I have a court date next month. We have no attorney and cannot afford one.

Lauren Boyce

Asked on October 31, 2017 under Estate Planning, Virginia


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. Ok so if they were not married and she was not supporting him in any way he has no right to have an insurance policy on her life.  He has no "insurable interest" under the law.  That makes me think that it is her policy (as owner) not his.  The beneficiary designation will hold unless you can prove it was signed under duress (and the abuse may be good proof).  I would write a letter to the insurance company and copy the state Insurance Department and tell them you are challening the policy and that you would like them to "interplead" the funds in to court.  If you Mom was on the lease and you are filling out a Probate Petition to be appointed by the court as her Personal Representative list the property she owned.  Don't worry about receipts right now.  Once appointed you are entitled to "marshall" the assets meaning you can take them to safe guard them.  You may need the Sheriff to help you but I would not go alone and I would call the landlord and ask for access. You need to pursue the charges against him as well. Take your family with you for support.  You all need eachother right now.  Good lukc.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption