Fort Collins, CO asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Small Claims for Michigan

Q: My mom passed back in October of 2020 she left three storage units behind. I moved to a different state so most of my

Stuff was in those storage unit's and my aunt offered to get my stuff for me. My sister however refuses to let me aunt into these units and is basically holding my stuff hostage. These units have to cleared by the end of this month. If I go and get my stuff myself is that illegal?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fowlerville, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: It is hard to say without more information.

Whose name are those storage units in? You Mom's? Yours? Your sister's?

What documentation do you have that the stuff is 'yours'? Receipts? It is your clothing and not hers, etc?

Why do they 'have' to be cleared? Can't you just pay another month's rent?

Who has the access codes/keys?

It all matters. Bottom line. IF you can document the stuff is yours and IF you can access the place properly without 'breaking in' then you can certainly retrieve your 'stuff'. Your Aunt can also, with your permission and direction get your stuff for you.

It sounds though, as if your SISTER is the one who has legal access through some sort of Probate? How else could she be denying you access?

I'd urge you to consult with a local lawyer and provide that licensed professional ALL the information needed to analyze the situation. To try to rely on 'the internet' is a bit like telling a plumber 'my sink isn't working' and asking for advice on how to fix it. HOW it has failed is an important detail—is it the drain? Does it leak? Does it drip? etc. The answer on how to fix it will differ depending on what is wrong! Consult with that local lawyer ASAP.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

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