death of my father

let2b1June 13, 2007

My Dad passed 2 weeks ago at my house.... I told the owner of his apt bld. and she has refused to let me and my mom in to retrieve his belongings... We've provided her with a death certificate and ins.papers naming my mom as his beneficiary.... But this Crazy ass owner said her lawyer told her to change the locks and don't let anyone in my dads apt. In the meantime all of my Dad's paper work is in there and all of his stuff.... we just want to clean out the apt.

We've also heard that she and someone from her management team has been going thru my dads apt..... Does she have a right to deny us access to his belongings and can i take her ass to court and sue her for emotional distress?


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If ever someone needed their own lawyer right now, it would be you! Sounds to me like what they're doing is illegal (or should be) and that unless there's something you haven't mentioned here (like restraining orders against you or something equally 'legal') then they should be kept, by police if necessary, from touching anything at all of your father's and you should be able to inventory what he had (that you're aware of) to keep them from stealing! They have zero right to do what they're doing.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 5:01AM
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I am very sorry for your loss.

I agree you should seek legal advice a.s.a.p. Perhaps an attorney could get an emergency order barring the owner from entering. Maybe her lawyer did tell her to change the locks and not let anyone in until they legally hear from the 'estate', but that doesn't mean the owner/mgmt can come and go as they please, either. Did your father have a Will? I was named Representative (executor) on my father's Will, and when settling his affairs I had to produce a certified (stamped) copy of the Death Certificate (obtained from my county government) and a copy of his Will naming me as Representative of his estate and I had to produce valid ID. I was in regular contact with his attorney through the process as well. Although his sole heir was my mother, and they were still married, there was still a fair amount of red tape. It is difficult when you are grieving, but there is a legal process to follow and you will need some legal guidance. In my state, the government first gets what they are owed, then any debtors get what they are owed (here they are given 8 months to come forward with a claim against the estate) and lastly the heir(s) are then legally handed over any remaining assets. I'm concluding by reading between the lines that your parents were no longer married? If that is the case, as far as your mom being beneficiary on the insurance, that's a separate issue. Legally it's not enough to entitle her entry or access to any remaining assets and possessions of your father's. Again, it all boils down to what's in the Will and who is to oversee his wishes. So I am concluding that the apartment owner's attorney is waiting for a representative of your father's estate to step forward so his Will can be processed. If there was no Will you definitely need legal advice.

Good luck, keep us posted?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 8:33AM
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Or if the will is in his apartment.....

You need legal advice. If no will is available, as his next of kin you might be given some technical status. But a lawyer can tell you what it is and how to get it.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 10:35AM
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I don't know the exact process, but I believe you have to go to Probabe Court and have someone named the executor.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 2:57PM
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The will itself usually names the person/s the testator wanted to be executor/executrix.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 5:17AM
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From the post, it seems highly likely that the will, insurance, and everything else is in the apt.In the meantime all of my Dad's paper work is in there

Get a lawyer!! I hope you have some notion of what he had, so if the landlord has been helping herself to Dad's stuff, you can throw her a$$ in prison. It all sounds really fishy to me.

Good luck, and sorry.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 12:43PM
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when my next door neighbor passed away, several of us from the bldg (it's a co-op) went through the apartment.

We emptied trash cans, cleaned out the fridge, and checked for things like crumb-laden toasters that could draw bugs or create smells. We removed all the food stuffs.

We also got clothes for the body to wear at the funeral. We looked for an address book to notify people.

We did had sort-of permission from her court-appointed guardian, but if she hadn't had one, we'd have done it anyway. She had not next-of-kin; if she had, we probably would have been leaning on them to come and do this.

So while you want to get your status as next-of-kin established immediately, the idea that someone from apt. management was in the apartment is not automatically fishy.

And since they own the apartment (or work for the owner), they'd have a right to enter.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 4:11PM
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