My brother died had no will he was not married or no children what happens to his estate can any family member go into the estate and take his personal property

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My brother died had no will he was not married or no children what happens to his estate can any family member go into the estate and take his personal property

My brother died unfortunately
family members have broken into
his home all his belongings are no
longer in his home and his bran
new car is gone is their any thing
we can do the law has been broker

Asked on January 25, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your brother.
Since he died intestate (without a Will) the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.
Your brother was not married and had no children.  Therefore, his parents inherit his estate.  If the parents are deceased, the estate goes to his siblings.  The estate is divided equally among the siblings.  If you are the only sibling, you inherit the entire estate.
As for the stolen assets and breaking into your brother's home, criminal charges could be filed for auto theft, burglary, etc.
Another alternative is to sue those who have stolen your brother's assets for conversion, which is theft in a civil case.
Your remedy in court is a constructive  trust  which will require those who have stolen the assets to return them to the estate.  If they have sold assets or spent funds, the constructive trust can be used to trace the assets and recover the proceeds or any acquisitions or their value which can be returned to the estate.  
 


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