Reston, VA asked in Estate Planning for Virginia

Q: Is it illegal to hold someone else's property against his or her will if they ask for it back?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: A Virginia resident can file a Warrant in Detinue for the return of specific personal property or its fair market value. A person who converts another's property to his or her own use has committed the tort of conversion. If someone takes someone else's property with the specific intent to steal it, it is considered to be the crime of larceny.

Matters are often more complicated with the estate of a decedent, and it is important to consult with an experienced Virginia estate administration attorney about one's right to specific property in an estate or of a decedent.

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