If my father recently died without a Will and the rent on his storage unit is passed due, can I pay the rent and transfer it into my name?

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If my father recently died without a Will and the rent on his storage unit is passed due, can I pay the rent and transfer it into my name?

Or will I have to go to probate court in order to get access to his belongings? He had storage unit that is holding some of his personal belongings and the rent is passed due on it. His unemployed wife can not afford to pay the rent and is not willing to work with myself and my siblings on coming up with a plan to deal with my father’s estate. If I can have it transferred to my name will his wife be entitled to anything in the storage unit?

Asked on November 23, 2014 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Being the renter of a storage unit has, unfortunately, nothing to do with ownership of the property in it, so even if you pay the rent and take over the lease, the contents do not become yours. Instead, they will pass according to his will (if he one) or according to the rules of intestate succession (what happens if he did not have a will) if not.


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