Who gets the furniture/items in the house after a person’s death if the Will is not clear?

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Who gets the furniture/items in the house after a person’s death if the Will is not clear?

My grandparents passed last year. About 4 years ago they had my mom placed on the deed to their home/property (at their death). They also had a Will that states that my aunt and uncle are to split the money and personal property listed in the Will. However there is nothing listed in the Will as personal property. The only personal property in my granddad’s name at his death was his car and money. So the day after his funeral, my aunt went into the home and took all the items out (including the appliances). Was she supposed to do or did those items belong to my mom? My aunt is over my grandad’s estate.

Asked on February 9, 2012 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Generally, personal items do not have to be listed specifically in the Will unless say a person wants to give a specific piece of jewelry to some one. So everything would count.  Now the tricky part here is that your Mom was listed on the deed and I am assuming with "rights of survivorship" so the contents of the house may be hers.  She needs to speak with a lawyer in your area who can look at all the documents involved.  Good luck.


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