If my late father left his truck in our garage because it needed to be inspected, can I charge the estate for storing the vehicle in my garage?

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If my late father left his truck in our garage because it needed to be inspected, can I charge the estate for storing the vehicle in my garage?

How would I go about doing that? The lawyer my father’s wife hired to handle his estate said that there probably won’t be anything left after all the bills are paid. The blue book value of the truck is about $4000. It’s been 7 months and the truck is still in our garage and I haven’t heard anything from the lawyer.

Asked on March 16, 2014 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If there was an actual agreement between you and your father that he would pay rent or storage charges for keeping his truck in your garage, then you could present a claim to his estate for  any unpaid amounts--and sue the estate if it won't pay. In the absence of an agreement, however, you have no right to be paid for  it--that is, if you'd been letting him keep the truck in your garage for  free, you can't now retroactively say he had to pay for it.

You can let the estate know that they must retrieve the truck within a reasonable time period (e.g. 30 days) or you will dispose of it. Send any written notices in some way or ways you can prove delivery. You do not have to keep the truck there forever.


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