Personal Property of Deceased
Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:31 AM
My wife passed away last August and my Father-In-Law immediately has demanded some personal property
that he gave my wife back. He has also demanded that a item that he gave me, he wanted back. This all started 2 weeks after her passing, and the issue has deterioted to the point, I now do not want to give back.
I know moraly, it would be the right thing to do and give them back, but he has been very aggressive and nasty
and has even threatened me to obtain these 2 articles through the courts. I have told him from the beginning that when I go through her stuff, which I have not touched (married 39 years) I would give them, but the relationship has now become hostile. These were not on loan with no documentation as they were just gifts of personal nature.
Is there any legal means that would cause me to have to return these items, small claims or otherwise? My wife did not have a will and we owned all things jointly. State of Oregon.
Any advise would be appreciated.
Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:03 AM
He can "demand" anything he wants but unless he has paid receipts in his name and written evidence of an agreement by your wife that those items were only on loan to her, then he doesn't have a prayer of winning in court.
Everything that belonged to her went to you either by right of survivorship or under intestacy, although under intestacy your children get a share, or unless she made other bequests in her will.
You are free to tell him to pound sand.or just turn a deaf ear to him, whatever suits you.
But, no, you didn't own everything jointly. Items can only be owned jointly if they are titled or specified as joint ownership.
Everything else is likely subject to division by intestacy between you and your children. If you have no children or they renounce any claim then it's all yours.
Either way, your father in law has zero claim to her estate.
Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.
Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:23 AM
Are these items "family heirlooms" that might have belonged to Dad's family? That should be the only reason for him to be so demanding of a return. If you feel inclined, I would suggest one of the children taking the items to Granpa,to keep the peace, remember that he is hurting too. Just a suggestion.
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