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My sister's partner of 8 years died in her home and she

Customer Question
My sister's partner of...

My sister's partner of 8 years died in her home and she needs to know what to do with his stuff and bank accounts so she does not get into trouble with his inheritors.

Lawyer's Assistant: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?

He left no will, as far as she knows. She has his bank statements.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

For the funeral, she was the informant. Does this get her involved in the inheritance process?

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/11/2017
Estate Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago
Roy Hadavi
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,280
Experience: Attorney at Law Offices of Rosenstein & Associates
Verified

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed California attorney with extensive estate planning and probate experience. I would be happy to provide assistance. Please give me a moment to formulate a response. Also, please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Estate Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago

Can you please confirm: your sister was not married and does not want to be involved in the probate (you referred to it as inheritance) process?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
They were not married and did not establish a legal domestic partnership. She prefers not to be involved, but he has stuff at her house, like two cars, horse trailer etc. Also she fears that his children and X-wife will get her into court. He worked at a company she stablished, and has exercised and unexercised stock options and life insurance through the company.
Estate Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago

She has no obligation to be involved in the probate process, outside of allowing access to the property to remove his personal property. She should make sure that anyone that wishes to take any of his personal property away has proof from the court that they are a lawful representative of the estate.

Assisting in the funeral process does not obligate her with regard to the estate.

The potential beneficiaries will need to have the estate probated in order to establish an executor(s) and the beneficiaries.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your question. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow-up or clarification questions, please ask! There is no additional fee. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service (hopefully Excellent/5 stars!). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Will the probate court send letters to her asking what he owned?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
How long does she have to keep his stuff? If they do not come for them how can she dispose of them without getting into trouble?
Estate Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago

No. The executor will have to prepare an accounting of all of his personal property and will include it as part of the probate process.

If she wants to the property removed quickly, she should contact the family. Have the family members sign off on the property being removed by them.

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Estate Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago

Did you have any follow-up questions or need me to clarify anything? If not, please do not forget to rate my services at the top of the page (hopefully 5 stars), otherwise I get no credit for helping you today.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
What if family does not come and remove the horse trailer or the cars, what is the procedure for disposing of them without getting into any legal trouble? Can my sister donate them?
Estate Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago

In order to remove the property, she will need to give them notice that she intends to dispose of the property, if it is not removed. A written notice is the most appropriate way to provide the notice with a reasonable deadline by which to remove the goods. Generally, a notice of this type should be mailed. GSO is a California company that offers next-day delivery, provides tracking, a confirmation signature and is only a few dollars more than USPS.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
What needs to be listed in her notice letter to them? What constitutes a personal property? Is there a minimum $ value? She read that only “assets under his name” are considered …. like real estate, cars, etc. … the horse trailer is not registered under his name, for example. He has a safe in her house, his gun collection is in it but we cannot access them since we do not know the combination to the safe, does she need to tell them about the guns and how can we remove them?
Estate Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago

Any items under his name, or that he purchased are part of his estate. She should provide them an entire accounting of all items that belonged to him.

The notice should provide a list of the items and a deadline to remove them from the property.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Who is responsible for opening his safe when its combination is unknown?
Estate Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago

Was the safe his or is it hers?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
His. His gun collection is locked in it.
Estate Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago

Then it is the beneficiaries responsibility. She should include the safe on the accounting, as well as the contents of the safe. The contents should be listed and described to the best of her ability.

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