Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Wisconsin

my dad recently passed away (Jan 7). He did not leave a will. I was informed at the funeral that I would receive his assets as I am his only child. The funeral was yesterday. Today I was at his house and noticed that his house has been gone through. His clothes, all paper work from his file cabinets, his car, and several large pieces of furniture are missing. His friend has a key to the house and refuses to return it. I do not have any paper work yet as I have not gotten a lawyer yet. My uncle has an appointment with a lawyer on Jan 22 but that is for him (I don't know why) plus that is 9 days away. Can I legally change the locks?

Asked on 1/13/18, 8:28 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

JAY Nixon nixon law offices

Since any interested party can petition for estate administrative authority, the issue of who gets appointed is sometimes decided by who gets to the courthouse first. If you want to be the administrator rather that dad's "friend," my advice is therefore that you get a lawyer as soon as possible and file a petition for administration in your dad's county probate court, rather than allowing the opposing lawyer to take charge of the situation by default. You should also watch the legal notices and search court databases for proceedings involving your dad meanwhile. While the police will often accept complaints from a presumptive heir, they also insist upon seeing legal paperwork appointing you, particularly if more than one person is showing interest in the estate. If you feel your dad's estate has been the victim of a theft, you therefore might also wish to file an official complaint.

See my past answers to similar questions on AVVO , or see over fifteen years of past answers at . See 15 years of past answers at Answers may contain attorney advertising materials and may, along with questions, be used in attorney advertising materials. All answers and questions on public websites are public documents which do not enjoy attorney client privilege.

Read more
Answered on 1/14/18, 9:05 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Probate, Trusts, Wills & Estates questions and answers in Wisconsin