Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Massachusetts

My mother-in-law recently passed away. Her boyfriend with whom she lived is refusing to allow her children to collect a few small possessions from the home. These are mostly sentimental items such as Xmas ornaments, one particular piece of furniture estimated value of $600 to $800, and one piece of jewelry (diamond/sapphire/platinum ring) that was given to my mother in law by her daughter. The boyfriend is claiming that her children are withholding inheritance money from him. They aren't as there is no money, there was a small death benefit that covered her final expenses. As far as I can tell he has no legal rights to any of her possessions. Not only were they not married but he is still married to his first wife (this is in MA). My question is do her children have legal grounds to take him to court (small claims or otherwise) and would the trouble be worth it? For clarity, her children want nothing that was purchased for the house, they are more than happy to leave him with everything. These are mostly items that pre-date her relationship with him.

Asked on 12/21/15, 8:24 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Skinner, III Associated Attorneys of New England

There's a lot more we need to know about the situation in order to properly advise you. One thing is certain- you need legal counsel.

My colleague focuses a good portion of his practice litigating these types of disputes:

I'd assist him if needed...

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Answered on 12/21/15, 10:56 am

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