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My brother died 2 months ago, his wife has refused to return…

Customer Question
My brother died 2...

My brother died 2 months ago, his wife has refused to return our family pictures due to a dislike for me. these pictures date back to the 1930's. My brother kept them after the death of my father, long before he met his widow. I feel they are family property and as there is only my sister and I left that we have a right to them. Is there anything I can do to get them returned?

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

Arizona

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

I lived in their house for a year, and the pictures were in my room. I guess no documentation other than the pictures themselves which is obvious

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 14 minutes by:
12/13/2017
Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11,870
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Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

I am sorry for your family's loss;

If the court deems the pictures are your brother's separate property and they were not included in a will to another person, under the laws of intestate succession the wife is allowed to keep them; a very inequitable result, one which most judges will do everything they can to find an alterior result for purely sentimental photos.

As such, the court may deem that the brother held the pictures in constructive trust for other children of the decedent (father) unless the father's will specifically bequested them to the brother.

With a constructive trust, this is an "equitable remedy" whereby the court attempts to do justice and they will typically order specific performance for items that money cannot compensate for.

This may include an injunction to return the photos to the father's remaining children.

I am sorry your family is having to deal with this; perhaps a family member can mediate and encourage the pictures return without litigation.

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Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;

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