Newbern, TN asked in Contracts, Probate and Small Claims for Tennessee

Q: If friend dies & has borrowed property, is his mom(sole heir) responsible for returning it or can she lawfully keep it

I paid $300 for an expensive 3 pc leather living room condition internals, structure, springs, cushion, but scratched sitting area & shredded back from cat. I bought it from friend(he paid $5k+ new 10-15 years ago..very rarely used). He moved & new furniture fell though & he borrowed it back after I paid but before I took possession. He died. His mom got everything. She texted & said she decided to keep the furniture & would return the $ I paid. I said no..I want it. She admits knowing I paid him, but refused to return it. Is the charge theft? If not then what charge? I can't replace it for the $ I paid. Will I get my furniture,what I paid or what the replacement value is worth. It's worth much more than i paid. Will my text evidence be admissible? What is right way to retrieve texts to be used for court? I have texts where he acknowledged that I bought & paid for the furniture. Is her admitting that she knows I paid for it enough proof along with his texts?I have no receipt

1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Yes, mom is responsible for returning borrowed property to the true owner. Your remedy depends on a lot of other factors not covered in your narrative. For example, if she tries to list the item in a probate inventory then you should object in writing filed with the court. If there is no probate then you might sue her in small claims court.

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