When someone leaves coins/cash to numerous relatives, who gets them?

UPDATED: Aug 28, 2012

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When someone leaves coins/cash to numerous relatives, who gets them?

My uncle left a handwritten notarized Will. He left a home and the contents to my brother and a all the coins/cash to the remaining nieces and nephews.The coins were in 2 safety deposit boxes and cash in checking accounts. While going through his house, my brother discovered several boxes of coins. My uncle stated that my brother received none of the coins or cash because he was left the property/contents. Who should get the coins he discovered in the house?

Asked on August 28, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your answer depends on how the will is written and how your state interprets what the will says.  You wrote that your uncle "left a home and the contents" to your brother.  In Florida, the first question would be, "is the will ambiguous?"  If it is not, then the written words in the will control and must be enforced.

Although, "the contents" could be interpreted to include coins found in the house, Florida and most states interpret "the contents" of a home to include only the fixtures and items that go along with living in a home.  That usually does not include coins.  In your uncle's case, it almost certainly would not include coins if his will said specifically that your brother was to receive none of the coins or cash.  None is unambiguous.

The remaining nieces and nephews have a legitimate claim to the coins and can ask the Probate Court to resolve this.  If your brother or the representative of the estate disagree, the rest of you should consult an estate lawyer and make your case to the Probate Court.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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