If my mother died a year ago and prior to her death she gave me her jewelry but my father made me bring it back to him, can I legally request it back?

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If my mother died a year ago and prior to her death she gave me her jewelry but my father made me bring it back to him, can I legally request it back?

Asked on January 2, 2016 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, if you gave it back to him, it is now his...just as, if you had not given it to him, it would have remained yours, since your mother gifted it to you. When a person gives or gifts something--regardless of his/her motives--to another, it becomes the recipient's property. You write that your father "made" you give it to him, but that is not legally correct (even if it's emotionally true): you father had no power to make you turn the jewlery over to him, and you could have legally said "no." By choosing to do what he wanted and giving it to him, you made it his.


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