How can I keep my ex-stepmother from taking/keeping my recently deceased father’s property?

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How can I keep my ex-stepmother from taking/keeping my recently deceased father’s property?

My father passed on Monday. His ex-wife (divorce finalized 3 weeks before) owned half the property that the trailer was on, but my father’s name was on the deed to the house. We won’t be down there until Saturday, but today she went into the house and took TV’s, a computer, and other personal items from that house. She didn’t try to get it during the divorce but barely waited until my father was cold to go into the house and take God knows what. There are important files on that computer and most of his paperwork regarding insurance and what not was in that house. Do we have any legal recourse do get anything back from her and keep her out of there?

Asked on August 17, 2011 Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your former step mother had permisison to be on your father's mobile home, the permission ended when he died. For the former step mother to have gone onto the property and take things after your father passed away which could be assets of his estate very well could be a criminal act warranting a police report.

If your father's estate is going to be probated, mention of what happened needs to be addressed before the court and a request for the issuance of a citation by the probate court to your former step mother to appear and answer about assets taken is an option.

When you arrive at the property, contact a locksmith and have the locks changed immediately. You should also consult with a wills and trust attorney about the situation.

Good luck.


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