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a difficult situation

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by supraneurotoxin, Jul 28, 2007.

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  1. supraneurotoxin

    supraneurotoxin Member

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    hmm. how to begin.

    Earlier this year, my grandfather lost his battle with cancer. Rather abruptly I might add, without the opportunity to make final arrangements. he had enough time to appoint my aunt executer of his estate, entrusting her to carry out his final business.

    since then, she has been doling out possessions to the rest of the family as she see's fit, with the exception of his firearms.
    a colt single action 45(his father's), a black powder revolver(don't know the make, only that it isn't a repro) his 1911 from WWII, a little beretta 32, a browning pump action 12, a ruger red label OU 12, to name a few.

    she insists on turning them in to the police dept, or having them destroyed, or some way or another rendering them inoperable, as she would like to do with all firearms everywhere.

    I have two uncles who are gun enthusiasts, and the three of us have agreed that we don't care which ones go to who, as long as they stay in the family. nothing we say has swayed her decision to date, and apparently we don't have any legal recourse(as far as I know). she has the only keys to his house, and actually went so far as to have ADT installed to keep people out.

    I hate to see perfectly good firearms get destroyed, no matter who's they are, but to see ones handed down from my grandfather's father suffer the same fate is to much to bear.

    If anyone has any ideas to help me try and salvage our family heirlooms, I'm open to any and all suggestions.
     
  2. whitetiger7654

    whitetiger7654 Member

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    Contact a lawyer. The paperwork she has putting her in charge could have been done wrong or a lawyer could find a loophole. Then you could get someone else put in charge instead.
     
  3. ravencon

    ravencon Member

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    If your grandfather appointed your aunt executrix in accordance with the laws of the state and if he was was legally competent to do so and was under no undue influence then you have little recourse but persuasion.

    I doubt if you want to spend the money and the emotional energy needed to dispute his testamentary capacity. If you can't persuade your aunt that your grandfather treasured these firearms and that they should stay in the family as a way to honor his memory then you'll have to come to the terms with their loss.
     
  4. Dannavyret

    Dannavyret member

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    Get a lawyer. She has no right to destroy your Grandfather's WWII heirlooms, obviously she doesn't care about the history of this country. You should be firm with her that maintaining his memory of service far outweighs her selfish concerns.
     
  5. Black Knight

    Black Knight Member

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    Get a lawyer is the first move you need to do. As executor she stills has to follow his wishes not hers. If she is not then a court may be able to appoint a new executor to do so.
     
  6. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Member

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    IANAL, but you should be able to get a copy of your grandfather's will from the probate court. Your aunt has a fiduciary duty to the heirs named in his will. The heirs might start by complaining (immediately) to the attorney handling the probate. Ultimately, it might be necessary to take her to court. :(
     
  7. Mauserguy

    Mauserguy Member

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    I've seen this before. I'm not talking about the guns, but rather they executer running amuck over the estate. This is a classic case. Some people get a little power and go crazy, often stealing for themselves or their favorites. Mark my words, when this is over, some of the heir will not get what was due to them.
    Good luck.
    Mauserguy
     
  8. supraneurotoxin

    supraneurotoxin Member

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    the problem is, there IS no will.
    my grandfather was the proverbial pack rat, with a house, garage and barn stacked floor to ceiling with stuff. 5 vehicles in the driveway, one is roadworthy. his wishes, though painfully evident to the family(my aunt included), aren't documented. I don't think so anyway.
    I'm completly unknowledgeable on this subject. is that possible, for her to be exectuter with out any kind of will? i'm not sure if there is a lawyer involved, I haven't heard of one...does there have to have been one? where can I access this kind of paperwork/information if she won't share it with the rest of us?
     
  9. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard Member

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    Definitely at least consult with a lawyer. Since he died intestate, it's up to the court to decide who gets what, not your aunt.
     
  10. Noxx

    Noxx Member

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    Ugh, that's just heartbreaking, on several fronts.

    Get a lawyer, and if nothing else you should be able to get a CO to prevent her from disposing of anything until a case can be heard.

    Wish you the best, I'm sure whatever happens will try your patience sorely.
     
  11. akodo

    akodo Member

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    a person becomes executer of the estate either because a will makes them that way, or because a probate court appoints someone in the absence of a will.

    She cannot just step forward and declare herself as eldest sibling or whatever as being in charge.

    As others ahve said, talk to a lawyer. Often, finding out that the executor is giving away or destroying items of value can get it changed. If there is any sort of will, even a brief hand written document that declares her executor, then look for that same document to also include a very vague instructions.

    "I want my daughter Jane to be in charge of doling out my stuff to my family when I am gone"

    that's often enough for jane to be declared executor...however, if you notice even though the instructions are vague, they are specific enough to disallow giving stuff to charity and/or the police.



    Second, I would approach the local police department. Tell them that your grandfather has some heirloom guns with great personal and historic value, plus some have quite substantial monetary value, but exactly who they belong to now is up in the air, that one anti-gun relative may try and get the police to take and destroy the arms.

    might also ask them 'if this all shakes out and the anti gets to be executor, and turns the guns over to the police department, I know you normally destroy them, but do you also donate historic peices to local museums?'
     
  12. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    Try this angle - if these are of any value, she is acting against the interests of the heirs. It's just like a corporation squandering assets that would otherwise increase the shareholder's value basis.
     
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    As executor of the estate, she has a duty to preserve and protect the estate, for the benefit of the heirs. By destroying or reducing the value of property in her care, she is defrauding the other heirs -- just as she would be if she stole the guns.
     
  14. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

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    If there was no will, then she is not executrix unless the court appoints her. Fight her in court and when evidence comes out that she wants to destroy valuable property rather than distribute it, she may not make it as executrix any longer.
     
  15. supraneurotoxin

    supraneurotoxin Member

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    so if I understand this correctly, I should first go to a lawyer who can sort out the paperwork(which in all honesty confuses the crap out of me), and he should be able to find out if this situation is salvagable?
    I wonder if my aunt will change her colors if she finds out we are serious enough to consult legal council.. that would be ideal.
     
  16. whitetiger7654

    whitetiger7654 Member

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    You would know. Go talk to a lawyer immediately! She may destroy the stuff today! Call her and tell her she can't just take over without paperwork to back it up. Tell her you are talking to a lawyer and will prosicute if necessary.

    So as I stated in the beginning get a lawyer.
     
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    It seems to me if she hasn't done it already she is using the guns as a means of jerking you and your uncles around.

    Pilgrim
     
  18. lanternlad1

    lanternlad1 Member

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    Have her give the guns to a LEO friend who tells her they will be destroyed. He gives them to you, then divide them amongst yourselves. What she doesn't know won't hurt her.
     
  19. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    By all means talk to an attorney that specializes in probate matters as soon as possible. But at the same time see if your Uncles and any other potential heirs will go along with you. If it becomes necessary for the lawyer to take your Aunt to court, or to get an injunction preventing her from destroying or disposing of any property, the more parties he represents the stronger his case. His first move, given the circumstances, may be to ask the court to order a full inventory of your late grandfather's property be made. Lacking specific instructions in a valid will, your Aunt cannot legally dispose of, or distribute any property until such an inventory is made - this being to insure that each of your grandfather's heirs gets a fair share of the estate.
     
  20. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Member

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    I really feel for you. I know how I would feel having precious heirlooms destroyed or rendered inoperable. My heart goes out to you, good luck and I hope the three of you are able to take possession of his guns and continue to pass them on to future generations.
     
  21. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    I agree with Old Fuff.

    She has been asked to give away the belongings, not to destroy them. I would have a lawyer all over the situation. Her bias against firearms obviously was not shared by your grandfather. Best of luck.

    Doc2005
     
  22. DDrake

    DDrake Member

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    My friend had a problem like yours. Apparently one of the daughters (of the dad that died) wanted to give all these suits of armor to a museum (Dad collected old-armor). She had a lot of connections with the local museums, and apparently even told some board members that she was going to give it to them. What was more obvious to the son, is she simply didn't want him to have them. There was no will.... she basically just took over and thought she could do whatever because she was the primary care-giver during the last year of her father dieing. Apparently, being the one taking care of him and the son working in Europe, got on her nervs .... and she was determined to make the son "pay" for not helping out as much as she liked.



    It went to court, the judge quickly gave all the suits of armor to the son. His reason is there was no will, the daughter had no legal right in deciding who gets what, she intended to remove it from the family (this was the main reason), and the son had a sincere reason for keeping the armor (he wanted to keep it, have it in his house, past it down to his sons).




    The simple fact is, if there is no will that specifically dictates what the person wants with an item ...... NO family member can just "give it away" and remove it from the family. The objects will ALWAYS go to the person trying to preserve them.


    Your aunt will loose in court. Get a lawyer, make sure she does not destroy them .... and the Judge will quickly give them to you knowing there was no will and she plans to "give them away".
     
  23. supraneurotoxin

    supraneurotoxin Member

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    that thought had crossed my mind....
    she irritates me. in the beginning I was concerned about salvaging our relationship, but at this point regretfully that is out the window.
    just out of shear curiosity if it was possible, do we have the right to simply walk off with them? even if we get a lawyer to straighten this all out, would that be legal, just so we know they are safe? or have I not provided enough info to answer that question?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2007
  24. whitetiger7654

    whitetiger7654 Member

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    While walking off with them wouldn't be the best idea it would keep her from destroying them. But you would have to gain access to them without breaking and entering.

    When my stepfather's wife passed away there was a nasty split in the family and the combined family owned a lot of very expensive construction equipment. His kids "stole" the equipment and after a long drawn out court proceeding they ended up keeping it. Because possession is 9/10th's of the law as they say.
     
  25. JamisJockey

    JamisJockey member

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    INAL....
    Without a will, how will she prove that the guns exist or that you took them?
    Food for thought....
     
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