My brother passed away and I am his sister. He doesn't have a will on file and they won't let me into his apartment to get contacts or to address his estate. What recourse do I have? If his work documents state that I am his next of kin will that help?
Country relating to Question: United States
Police department and clerk of records and the manager of the apartment complex
I'm sorry to hear that. Can you tell me what state he resided in when he passed?
Can you tell me the approximate value of his estate at the time of his death? That is, was it more or less than $75,000?
Much less, nothing valuable just family pictures and things that we would want to keep and I need his contacts to notify friends of the funeral. the rest will probably go to charity
I would estimate the value of his estate to be no more than 15K
The apartment is probably covering its rear in this instance. They could let you in (there's nothing that says that they can't) but probably want to make certain that you're the legally entitled representative of the estate to do so. To transfer "titled" assets (such as real estate, vehicles, etc...) and to access financial accounts (checking, savings, 401ks, IRAs, CDs, stocks, etc... that do not have any beneficiary filing) you would typically have to file for formal probate and get "letters of administration" (in an intestate matter where there is no will). But in the instance where the entire estate was valued under $75,000 at the time of death, you can petition for a "summary administration" order, that will do the same thing (give you the ability and authority to make these transfers, access items, etc...) And with such an order, you could get the police involved if the landlord continued to refuse you access. You can find these forms and procedure here: http://www.uslegalforms.com/fl/FL-ET30.htm. You can also find them at an office supply store, or even (probably) at your local library for free. This package linked to would have the full procedure, but in short, you're going to fill out the forms, file them with the local clerk, and if the court is satisfied that the requirements are met, will issue an order to you. You can then use this order to take possession of all of his assets. The document that states that you're the next of kin may work for the landlord, but it's not a legal document and therefore does not bind the landlord any more than your word. A summary administration order is a legal document and would force him to let you have access. Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!
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Thank you for your help. I tried to accept but the rating and the continue didn't do anything. I was going to ask you how long does it usually take you think to get the court order if I bring the forms to the courthouse directly? Is that a sameday, days or weeks?
That depends entirely upon the docket, the county procedure, backlog, and other issues that might come up. It could be done, feasibly, within a month, but could take up to 3-4 months.
Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
If there is something else that I can help you with, please let me know. Please note that I do not get any credit for the time and effort I spent on this (or any question) unless and until you select "accept". Thank you, and again, good luck to you!
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