If I’m an executor of my father’s Will and he left some items to grandchildren but the items are missing, what should I do?

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2015

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If I’m an executor of my father’s Will and he left some items to grandchildren but the items are missing, what should I do?

Asked on January 19, 2015 under Estate Planning, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends on *why* you think those items are missing:

1) He sold, lost, broke, gave away, etc. those items prior to his death--there's nothing you can do and nothing wrong was done: regardless of what's in a will, a person *always* has the right to dispose of his belongings prior to death. Really, what the will says is "IF the following objects are part of my estate at my death, they will go to...."

2) But if someone, like a friend, family member, employee (like an aide or care giver) stole the objects, either prior to your father's death or post-death, then you could report the alleged thefts to the police and/or, as executor, sue those persons for the return of the objects and/or for their fair market value.

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.

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