My previous blog addressed a serious situation sometimes encountered after a death where the decedent was living alone or living in a care facility away from the residence at the time of death, namely, “asset grab.” Acting proactively, this situation may be prevented by the decedent prior to death by: (1) gifting certain assets to preferred recipients (whether relatives or not) to avoid post-death squabbling and (2) photographing and cataloging the remaining personal property.

After death, asset grab may be mitigated by the person entitled by appointment or priority to act as personal representative (the “PR”): (1) locating a tangible personal property list prepared by decedent before death that itemizes specific property and names to whom it should be distributed and (2) with the advice of counsel for the estate, securing the decedent’s residence. .

Friends and relatives of the decedent, who take property without authorization, must be mindful that they are legally and financially responsible for holding and refusing to turn over to the estate any asset of the decedent to which they are not entitled.

Darlene Lundy
Certified Paralegal