If my aunt’s husband just passed and in his Will he stated that she could live there until her death, can his daughters just walk in and start taking stuff?

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If my aunt’s husband just passed and in his Will he stated that she could live there until her death, can his daughters just walk in and start taking stuff?

Asked on June 5, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the will says she can have the house until her death, then she should have exclusive use of the property-- so she needs to change the locks and tell the daughters to hold up.  Just because someone passes away, it doesn't automatically give relatives the right to come in and rummage.  Considering that they were married, many of the items may have been community property or seperate property-- which the daughters may or may not have a right to.  The will controls the disposition of the personal property located in the house.  If the will says they get certain items, then your aunt does need to make arrangements for getting those things to the daughters.  She may also want to talk to a probate lawyer to get the will probated.  She can asked for certain protective orders in the probate to keep the kids from scavaging through her things until a judge decides who gets what. 


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