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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Property, Not Owned by the Decedent, Was Sold by the Estate

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: California

    My Grandma died last year.

    While my grandma was still alive, my sister asked her to hold onto a piece of artwork for her, since my sister was moving and didn't want to place it in public storage. My grandma agreed to keep it safe for her.

    After my grandma died my sister tried to retrieve the artwork, but my grandpa had already moved out of state, and given permission to a neighbor to sell the remaining belongings in the home including the artwork with proceeds going to the estate.

    The artwork had been appraised at a value of $12,000 to $18,000, the neighbor sold it for $650.

    Myself and my cousin are the executors of my grandmas estate. My grandpa is due $15,000, when the estate closes.

    How should my sister proceed in recovering monetary damages? File charges against my grandpa or the estate? There is no documentation between any parties regarding the care of the artwork, just the known verbal agreement between my deceased grandmother and sister. Depending on the home owners insurance policy possibly filing a claim with them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,269

    Default Re: Stolen Art Work

    File charges against ... grandpa? For what crime??

    Your sister can TRY and file a claim against the estate, but, it might be hard to prove that there was any liability or malfeasance. And if the painting sold for $650 that may be the extent of what is owed to your sister.

    I would recommend she consult an attorney to whom she can explain the facts. Without a paper trail it may be very difficult to collect anything from the estate for the painting. I am sure others will have some more specific info for you, but, she will need to speak with an attorney.
    **********
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Stolen Art Work

    What monetary damages? As soon as Grandma was ill or died she should have retrieved the painting. Now she is out of luck. How does she plan on proving it was not just a painting given to grandma and grandpa?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,817

    Default Re: Property, Not Owned by the Decedent, Was Sold by the Estate

    Was grandpa the administrator of the estate? The sale was authorized by the court? No claim was made, prior to the sale, that the art was not part of the estate? Interested persons were informed of the planned sale, and had the opportunity to make purchases if they chose?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,668

    Default Re: Property, Not Owned by the Decedent, Was Sold by the Estate

    Quote Quoting PhroggMann
    View Post

    Myself and my cousin are the executors of my grandmas estate. My grandpa is due $15,000, when the estate closes.

    How should my sister proceed in recovering monetary damages? File charges against my grandpa or the estate? There is no documentation between any parties regarding the care of the artwork, just the known verbal agreement between my deceased grandmother and sister. Depending on the home owners insurance policy possibly filing a claim with them?
    Personal property is generally presumed to be owned by the person who has possession of it.

    You would have to prove (not just say) her ownership and any agreement for temporary custody of the artwork before a court would even consider that Grandpa did wrong.

    Meantime, if you try to withhold Grandpa's $15,000 he would have a better case against you than you would have against him.

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