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#4660637 - 02/09/18 07:42 AM Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members
BAJA_05 Offline


Registered: 02/04/18
Posts: 340
Loc: Berks County/Pa.
Hello everybody,


Question, has anyone had other Family members taken heirlooms that were not promised to them after losing a Family member? My Grandfather passed away last year, he promised me his old old double barrel shotgun, my Grandmothers countless old old stamp collection & his military uniform from World War 2. My first cousin Tim came in the house soon after he passed & took all those things promised to me. How do I know -- his Brother Terry -- my other first cousin who does not get along with Tim told me. I talked to a lawyer about it & he said without it stating it in the will specifically -- I have no backing. Can anyone else relate to something like this?


Dale


Edited by BAJA_05 (02/09/18 07:54 AM)
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#4660642 - 02/09/18 07:52 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
clarkflower Offline


Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 719
Loc: US
You can still sue in a large court and have Terry (and others) testify.... Period.

You can sue yourself in small claims court and have Terry (and others) testify. You may or may not win but you can get a shot.


Edited by clarkflower (02/09/18 07:55 AM)

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#4660649 - 02/09/18 07:57 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10023
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
Back in '79, I was in a similar situation with an uncle. I was promised some wrist watches. It is hard to prove that my uncle even owned these items and that the other party actually stole them. Good Luck!
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#4660657 - 02/09/18 08:05 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
Langanobob Offline


Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 208
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Have you tried talking to your cousin about this, face to face? Not confrontationally, just an open discussion.

Weíve had similar cases in our family and in friendís families. It has never ended well, with the animosity and hostility lasting for a lifetime.

Not being a lawyer, I donít have a valid opinion about a lawsuit. Any witnesses to your Grandfatherís promise to you? Also, it sounds to me that your cousin basically stole your grandfatherís possessions but I donít know what you would accomplish by formally charging him with theft.

Good luck.


Edited by Langanobob (02/09/18 08:06 AM)

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#4660664 - 02/09/18 08:14 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
callbay Offline


Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 814
Loc: Ozark Mountains
One thing I have learned about this kind of thing is that the worst can come out of relatives regarding dead peoples things.

When I was first married we had nothing and my wife's Grandmother died. She had a lot of garden tools that we asked for. My wife's Aunt got them and I later found out she got them and then gave them to her church to be given away to someone "needy". Wow, people get just nuts over possessions.

Lots of times in my own family there were very hard feelings about one relative getting things from a dead relative that they wanted.

I have learned also to not ask or expect anything and then you are not disappointed.

On a more serious note, several of my friends have been screwed out of property by siblings taking advantage of the dying Mom or Dad. In one case half a house and in another a large piece of land. Screwed meaning that the property was promised to the person and the sibling pulled a fast one on them and got the parent to change their will after they moved in to "take care of the parent".

Many times a son or daughter moves in with old Mom or Dad and then proceeds to take over their finances.

It's called "Elder Abuse". Lots on line about it. Rampant in our culture.

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#4660665 - 02/09/18 08:15 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: Langanobob]
clarkflower Offline


Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 719
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Langanobob
Also, it sounds to me that your cousin basically stole your grandfatherís possessions but I donít know what you would accomplish by formally charging him with theft.

Good luck.


That is true and a good point. He stole from the estate. Even with no will all the heirs lost as there is still a legal method of dispersal of the estate. With a will all the persons named in it lost. It could and should be reported to the police


Edited by clarkflower (02/09/18 08:17 AM)

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#4660675 - 02/09/18 08:26 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Is there a will? Theft is still theft, and without a will there is a set way assets should be distributed. I think here most of it goes to the children of the deceased and then its their property to do what they like. Really its up to your parents/uncles/aunts to divide the stuff up in a fair manner. Get them talking about it and maybe you guys can come to a fair solution.
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#4660695 - 02/09/18 08:50 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
JohnnyJohnson Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2747
Loc: Wet side WA
Happens all the time. So if you're getting up there in years make sure the stuff is gifted to who you want it to go to before you die. Every family has its share of common thieves.
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#4660708 - 02/09/18 09:00 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32637
Loc: ME
This happens all the time. Sometimes seems like a Hallmark Dramedy. When my grandpa went, my dad and his brothers had a free-for-all through the house with the promise to us adult grandkids that whatever they didn't pick over, we could have.

But my lawyer uncles found a "loophole" in that their kids would just ask daddy to grab stuff for them.

I didn't care, I got some cool pictures for my wall. We're all on speaking terms but have also seen the darker side of kids moving in to suck up at the 11th hour. They don't do the boring stuff like house sill replacement but still wind up with a cherry house, fixed up by their now-estranged sibling.

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#4660724 - 02/09/18 09:15 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
Kruse Offline


Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 4296
Loc: Kansas
If nothing was put in the will, you are probably out of luck.
If you pursue this in the courts, just remember that cousin Tim will never talk to you again...and maybe that's not a bad thing.

My wife's family has a bunch of oil wells in Texas and the profits from the wells were to be divided evenly, as stated in an original will. In a story that's too far fetched to believe, my wife's uncle convinced the oil companies to pay him more than the other relatives, completely against what the original will had stated. It wasn't until after his death that the other relatives started to investigate and confronted the oil companies that they had paid my wife's uncle too much money. So to set this straight, the oil companies are withholding payment to my wife's uncle's family until the other relatives get caught up on their fair share of revenue. Despite all this, my wife's uncle's family will not talk to their other aunts, uncles and cousins who are getting caught up on the oil well revenue, despite knowing that their dad cheated everybody else. It's not from embarrassment, it's from them wanting more money.
It's amazing how many people become enemies after a death of a loved one.

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#4660727 - 02/09/18 09:17 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
BalticBob Offline


Registered: 11/27/16
Posts: 395
Loc: Texas
If you cannot prove your Grandfather promised these items to you, and to only you, your cousin now owns them.
If your Grandfather was forgetful, he may have also promised them to your cousin and other family members.
Any witness that he promised them to you?
That is why having a will is so important, unless it is in writing, his promise never happened.

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#4660763 - 02/09/18 09:46 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BalticBob]
clarkflower Offline


Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 719
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: BalticBob
If you cannot prove your Grandfather promised these items to you, and to only you, your cousin now owns them.


I disagree 100% with this part. The cousin does not own them...unless they were given to him in the will.
If not they are part of the estate and have been stolen from the estate.

BTW for the OP...Was there a will? Who was appointed executor?


Edited by clarkflower (02/09/18 09:46 AM)

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#4660772 - 02/09/18 09:52 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
NormanBuntz Offline


Registered: 07/27/13
Posts: 2123
Loc: Outer Banks, NC
This is one reason why having a personal will is important. Many of us have vultures in our families who are quick to pick the bones when a loved one dies. Sad but true.

Clarkflower is correct. Those items rightfully belong to your grandfather's estate, to be divided along with his other personal property. Shame on your cousin.
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#4660783 - 02/09/18 10:05 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
Oldmoparguy1 Offline


Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 5613
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Happened to me. Brother & sister ripped me off big time, taking expensive stuff listed in our dad's will that was left for me. That's ok, I got the house. They didn't know that dad had put it in my name. thumbsup
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#4660790 - 02/09/18 10:10 AM Re: Family Heirlooms taken from other Family members [Re: BAJA_05]
BalticBob Offline


Registered: 11/27/16
Posts: 395
Loc: Texas
until the items are reported stolen, and proven within the system of law they do belong to someone else, the good 'ol cousin does own them.
It is a "he said/she said" situation.
O.J. thought he owned his memorabilia!
Hire an attorney, drag this through the legal system, and hope the items have not been sold on ebay before it is all finished.

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