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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    3

    Default What Legal Rights Do I Have to Claim My Property

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: New York

    My mother passed away 10 months ago. She left the apartment to my brother and most everything else to my sister. I was excluded. My siblings have essentially lawyered up and will not grant me access to the apartment to get my personal items from the apartment. My brother lives there now. The Estate attorney sent me a letter of items that my brother listed as my personal effects. He is asking me to verify the list so the items can be shipped to me. All these items are from my childhood and adolescence. I have not lived in the apartment in over 20 years so I don't recall all the items still there. However, I visited frequently and know that none of my belongings were discarded over the years. I would like to stop by and make sure I am not leaving anything behind. This is essentially a one time shot to get my stuff. It seems that the situation has deteriorated to the point that I have sent 4 emails and a letter to m bother requesting to set up a time for this, all of which have gone unanswered. The estate attorney wants me to sign off on the list. At first glance, the list seems to be missing some items. I don't want to do a back and forth with him where I recollect one or two items and forgo other items that might be there that I simply don't remember.
    What legal rights/ options or strategies do I have to compel him to grant me access to make sure nothing is left behind.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
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    Default Re: What Legal Rights Do I Have to Claim My Property

    Quote Quoting paisley321
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    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: New York

    My mother passed away 10 months ago. She left the apartment to my brother and most everything else to my sister. I was excluded. My siblings have essentially lawyered up and will not grant me access to the apartment to get my personal items from the apartment. My brother lives there now. The Estate attorney sent me a letter of items that my brother listed as my personal effects. He is asking me to verify the list so the items can be shipped to me. All these items are from my childhood and adolescence. I have not lived in the apartment in over 20 years so I don't recall all the items still there. However, I visited frequently and know that none of my belongings were discarded over the years. I would like to stop by and make sure I am not leaving anything behind. This is essentially a one time shot to get my stuff. It seems that the situation has deteriorated to the point that I have sent 4 emails and a letter to m bother requesting to set up a time for this, all of which have gone unanswered. The estate attorney wants me to sign off on the list. At first glance, the list seems to be missing some items. I don't want to do a back and forth with him where I recollect one or two items and forgo other items that might be there that I simply don't remember.
    What legal rights/ options or strategies do I have to compel him to grant me access to make sure nothing is left behind.
    Thanks
    From your description I'd say you have no rights. Your brother need not ever let you in unless you can convince the courts to allow it and then you'd have to be able to prove ownership of specific objects. No court is going to say that you can just wander through and say "this is mine and this is mine, oh, that's mine...".
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,612

    Default Re: What Legal Rights Do I Have to Claim My Property

    Quote Quoting paisley321
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    What legal rights/ options or strategies do I have to compel him to grant me access to make sure nothing is left behind.
    Afraid I have to agree with Mark47. Unless you want to spend 10 grand on a lawyer with no guarantees I suggest you just sign the verification and get what you can. Then get over it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,065

    Default Re: What Legal Rights Do I Have to Claim My Property

    Quote Quoting paisley321
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    The Estate attorney sent me a letter of items that my brother listed as my personal effects. He is asking me to verify the list so the items can be shipped to me.
    Seems perfectly reasonable.


    Quote Quoting paisley321
    View Post
    All these items are from my childhood and adolescence. I have not lived in the apartment in over 20 years so I don't recall all the items still there.
    Two things here. First, these items obviously aren't very important to you. Second, your brother wouldn't have a difficult time arguing that you abandoned the items by not taking them when you moved out or within a reasonable time thereafter.


    Quote Quoting paisley321
    View Post
    What legal rights/ options or strategies do I have to compel him to grant me access to make sure nothing is left behind.
    Probably none, and you probably should consider yourself fortunate that your brother is offering to ship you those things on the list. However, you're free to see if you can hire an attorney to send a letter demanding access.

    By the way, if your brother were posting here, I'd probably suggest that the path of least resistance is to allow you 30 minutes of access to get this over with.

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