Haslett, MI asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan

Q: This is related to an estate sale

We made a verbal agreement (nothing has been signed) with a person to do an estate sale after our father passed away. The workers she had coming in to help unpack boxes, wanted the guns and ammunition removed from the home because it made them nervous. When we asked the estate sale person about the ammunition, since we had a lot of interested people, she told us that she already sold it to a person who always buys her ammunition, for way less than we figured it was worth and without discussing with us first and letting us know that she was selling it. Also, one of the things we requested was that a friend of ours, who lost everything in a house fire, get first pick on what they want to buy (for the same price as in the sale) and she is now stating that we cannot put sold or not for sale on the items she has chosen, that she has to come to the sale like everybody else (which takes place when she can't come). I'm wondering legally what rights we have.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Since you do not have a written contract, it is unclear what your legal rights actually are. Maybe you should ask this estate sale auctioneer for a written contract, and for the auctioneer to refrain from selling any more items without that. If you want to approve the price of items or reserve items out of the sale to sell to family members or close friends, that needs to be in the agreement too. If you cannot agree with this auctioneer you would have the right to fire them, but beware they may have claims against you for payment for their services rendered up to this point.

For more information, I recommend you seek an in person consult with a local probate attorney.

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