Cooperstown, NY asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for New York

Q: Do I have any rights to my childhood photos that my stepmom has?

My Dad passed away in 2021. When my Dad got sick, my stepmom completely cut communication as my Dad was completely reliant on her. I reached out to attempt to keep the communication going but she blocked me on phones, Facebook, and email as far as I can tell. I found out on Facebook my Dad died. She did not allow me to attend his funeral. I was genuinely confused as to why so I asked my Stepmom about my childhood photos. She did initially reply saying after the probate she would get me the photos.

Since then I have followed up and she does not answer my messages. Before my Dad got sick we were on good terms. He sent me the only photo of me and him I have from my childhood. I have offered to pay for the photos, or pay for copies if she wants the originals. These photos were taken by my Mom and Dad and not by my stepmom. Do I have any legal rights to copies or originals?

1 Lawyer Answer
Benjamin Z. Katz
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If the photos were not specifically left to you by your father in a Will or Trust, the surviving spouse will have primary rights to household effects like family photos.

1 user found this answer helpful

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