Q: Do I have to return my husband’s inherited property to his siblings after his death?
My father in law passed in 2013. His home and belongings stayed empty for 2 years before my husband, our young children and me bought out his siblings for the home. Before us moving in, the siblings and husband, split up their fathers belongings. My husband passed away in 2020 and the deed to our home is solely in my name. Now, the siblings are demanding my husband’s portion of the belongings, including heirlooms. Our minor children want to keep my husband’s portion. The siblings threaten to sue me and do not believe our children (also, grandchildren of their father) should have the items. They have shown up numerous times stealing items on our property and calling the police on me for not allowing them inside our home. What are the chances of them winning a lawsuit against me if I do not comply with their demands?
As I understand the facts, your father-in-law passed in 2013, and the personalty in the estate was divided among the heirs and the estate closed. Around 2015, you and your husband bought the house and its contents, and they belonged to him or both of you. Your husband passed in 2020, and now his siblings are demanding return of things that once belonged to your father-in-law and now belong to you. Further, they are entering your home and taking your property upon some claim of right.
Get a lawyer to write them a demand letter and a no-trespass notice giving them 10 days to return your property before you swear out a complaint for burglary, breaking and entry, and theft -- depending on the specific facts, and informing them that they are not permitted on the property without specific authorization and supervision. Do not ask for damages in the same letter or at the same time.
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