Q: Can an executor have a deceased person's vehicle towed from someone else's property?
My father passed away and I am his executor and sole heir; my siblings were not granted anything in his will. He died at home, and the police gave his keys to my brother who lives next door. Immediately afterwards, my brother took my dad's truck and put it on his own property. The police wouldn't intervene as they said it was a civil matter, and my sister-in-law told police my brother and I had an agreement he could drive the truck (which was a lie). I had already filed estate paperwork with the court and had letters testamentary to act on my father's behalf. The police suggested I put the truck in my name, and then they would intervene when I was ready to remove it from my brother's property. My brother has said he wanted the truck (never said "buy"), and I made him offers on it, but he never responded. Is there any recourse without putting the truck in my name before getting it back?
A: The police won't get involved, as they do not want to be in the middle of interpreting civil documents, unless that civil document is a Court Order. As executor, you have a duty to collect all property and then distribute it. If he won't return the property, or buy it for a fair market value, then you could set a hearing with the clerk, requesting an Order for the return of the property to the estate. If you have an attorney, your brother could be liable for your attorneys' fees and/or your Executor fees for having to pursue the matter before the Clerk. Let your brother know that he may be found liable and have to pay money to end up with nothing, or he can buy it at FMV, or he can just return it. It may be beneficial for a letter to come from an attorney stating just that. Good luck!
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.