What to do if my father passed away 3 months ago and I am the successor trustee?

UPDATED: May 22, 2013

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What to do if my father passed away 3 months ago and I am the successor trustee?

I am in the process of selling his home, a trust asset. My siblings have personal items left behind from childhood and some of them have refused to pick up those items, stating they are too busy, etc. What happens if the house is sold? Do the new owners take possession of their belongings? Am I required to store them?

Asked on May 22, 2013 under Estate Planning, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You are required as trustee to protect the assets of the trust and to ensure the beneficiaries get their items. So, you can submit letters (certified) to your siblings indicating the siblings must identify the items they wish to have and if they do not pick up those belongings within the time set by your state for property to be considered abandoned or if the estate law in your state gives time limitations, then the property can be sold/disposed of. If I were in the situation, I would try the store the items somewhere at little to no cost and sell the items the siblings do not wish to have. The proceeds should go back into the trust if there is a provision for that.

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