How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask lwpat Your Own Question
lwpat, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25386
Experience:  Practicing criminal defense attorney
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
lwpat is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a friend whose estranged dad passed away in 2009. unbeknownst

Resolved Question:

I have a friend whose estranged dad passed away in 2009. unbeknownst to him, his dads 2nd wifes' ( who passed away in 2000) son ( his step-son), went to his home took everything of value, had his safe busted and did not contact my friend until 3 weeks afterwards. He took it upon himself to act as excutor, which later was decided in court
( State of Florida) that he be appointed Personal Representative of the estate since he was the deceased only biological child.
On what grounds can he sue this man for taking his dads personal belongings and having his safe opened without a court order? After his mom had be dead for 9 years, it doesn't seem legal that the stepson could take anything out of the house, much less do some of the things he did. He had the man cremated before my friend could get down there!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  lwpat replied 6 years ago.

Subscription customers. An ACCEPT is credited to me but you are not charged. Followup questions WILL be answered if my first answer is acceptable.


Your post is a little confusing. Please clear up for me which party was appointed the executor by the court, your friend or the other party? How long ago and has the probate been closed?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My friend ( the blood son) was appointed the personal rep. And is still in the process of getting everything done. he has an estate lawyer in Gainesville, since the step brother turned in an old will ( dated 1979) and destroyed the one written after his mothers passing in 2000, he and his brother are to get 1/2 of the estate to split ( 1/4 each) and my friend is to get the other 1/2.
Expert:  lwpat replied 6 years ago.
It is not unusual for a will to disappear and that is probably why he went into the safe. It was not legal for him to take the items out of the house or to get into the safe. However, the police will not get involved and simply say it is a civil matter. He can assign a value to the items that were removed and account for them in the distribution. It would be time consuming and expensive to try and prove a lost will and not worth the battle unless it is an extensive estate. I'm sorry for his situation but sometimes you just have to move on since justice is so expensive, uncertain and time consuming.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

the police are involved. they are the ones who initially went into the house at the request of the post office., the deceased had not picked up his mail for 2 weeks, so they contacted the authorities, they also took photos of each room ( even the bedroom where he was found.

I feel the step brother deserves to answer for the way he handled this. Stealing not only from a dead man but. for the way he took it upon himself to have the man cremated before contacting his son. It is a sad situation to say the least.

Expert:  lwpat replied 6 years ago.
I understand the frustration and emotions involved. However, at this point I don't see much to be gained by a long and drawn out court fight with attorney fees.
lwpat and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Criminal Law Questions