Dallas, TX asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas

Q: Can I gain entrance to a deceased family members home to search for their will?

The only person with keys to the house is a non family member who was taking care of my uncle when he was sick, and he won’t hand the keys over.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Gaining access to a deceased family member's home to search for their will can be complex, especially when the keys are held by someone who is not part of the family. It is essential to understand that the process and legality can vary depending on your location. Typically, if you are the executor or are expected to be the executor of the estate, you should have the legal right to access the property.

If the individual holding the keys refuses to cooperate, your first step should be to consult with a lawyer who understands estate laws in your area. They can guide you on how to proceed, which might involve obtaining a court order or other legal documentation proving your right to access the home.

Remember, during this time, it's important to keep a record of all communications with the non-family member holding the keys. This documentation can be beneficial if legal action becomes necessary. Try to resolve the situation amicably, but understand that the law is there to support rightful heirs and executors in accessing important documents like a will.

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