Can a person take things from a deceased loved one if there is no will

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can a person take things from a deceased loved one if there is no will

Hello I have a question. My sister in law
passed away and her best friend took her book
from the funeral home along with memorial
cards and money. There is no will at all. Can
she do that especially there is no will

Asked on August 20, 2019 under Estate Planning, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, that is theft. The deceased's property belongs to her "estate" until it is properly distributed according to a will (if there is one) or the laws for intestate succession (who gets what when there is no will--which never includes a friends; friends only inherit if there is a will leaving them something); after it is distributed, it belongs to whomever inherits. The deceased's possessions or money are never up for grabs by a friend. You could report this to the police if she will not voluntarily return the money and items.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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