WA What do I do with the stuff? What can I do?

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Critical

Member
1 September 2020
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Complicated issue involving family.
Backstory: After a death in the family I came into possession of my sibling's property(photos, camping gear etc). Due to them being abusive and threatening I felt uncomfortable personally giving it to them.
Going on advice from my local police I placed all of the property within a storage unit, and mailed them the keys so they could retrieve it themselves. I have since got the keys back, however, they have left some of the stuff in the unit. I would like to know what am I legally allowed to do with it? And/or what am I legally required to do with it?
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
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2,894
Sydney
Obviously, they have picked through it,
taken what they want, and left you with the junk...
and the bill for the storage.

Is there a will?
Or is it being dealt with as an intestacy?
 

Critical

Member
1 September 2020
4
0
1
Obviously, they have picked through it,
taken what they want, and left you with the junk...
and the bill for the storage.

Is there a will?
Or is it being dealt with as an intestacy?
The deceased estate has been handled, the property mentioned is actually kind of separate to that, it was just stored at the same house as the deceased, it's a complicated situation.
Primarily I'm just trying to find out if I'm allowed to keep/sell what they've left or if it's safest(legally) to just throw it out?
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
3,715
708
2,894
Sydney
...the property mentioned is actually kind of separate....
Well, it's either the property of the deceased, or it isn't.
There is no "kind of" in play.

Every item owned by the deceased is part of the estate.
If, however, property in the deceased's home (etc) belonged to somebody other than the deceased,
then it is, and remains, the property of that somebody else.
That doesn't change just because you don't feel comfortable being in contact with them.

That being said, you are not required to provide free storage for other people's stuff.
I suggest making one, or maybe two, genuine and well-expressed attempts to have them either remove it,
or expressly tell you that you can dispose of it.
 

Critical

Member
1 September 2020
4
0
1
Well, it's either the property of the deceased, or it isn't.
There is no "kind of" in play.

Every item owned by the deceased is part of the estate.
If, however, property in the deceased's home (etc) belonged to somebody other than the deceased,
then it is, and remains, the property of that somebody else.
That doesn't change just because you don't feel comfortable being in contact with them.

That being said, you are not required to provide free storage for other people's stuff.
I suggest making one, or maybe two, genuine and well-expressed attempts to have them either remove it,
or expressly tell you that you can dispose of it.
I did that, that's what the storage unit was for. I put all of it in there, and sent them the key. They have since sent back the key, while leaving some of their stuff in the unit. Do I need to send them the key a second time and tell them to remove everything? Or do I throw out what is in there?
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
3,715
708
2,894
Sydney
I did that, that's what the storage unit was for. I put all of it in there, and sent them the key. They have since sent back the key, while leaving some of their stuff in the unit. Do I need to send them the key a second time and tell them to remove everything? Or do I throw out what is in there?
As a matter of technical law, there is probably no need to send them the key again.
As a matter fo investing in forestalling future complaint, however...

-> Ask them, once more, expressly, if they want anything else from the unit,
and tell then that if not, that it will be disposed of on X date.

You need to be this clear in your language because, people being what they are,
you can anticipate them coming to you sometime in the future,
wanting more/ some/ the rest of it back after all.
 
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Critical

Member
1 September 2020
4
0
1
As a matter of technical law, there is probably no need to send them the key again.
As a matter fo investing in forestalling future complaint, however...

-> Ask them, once more, expressly, if they want anything else from the unit,
and tell then that if not, that it will be disposed of on X date.

You need to be this clear in your language because, people being what they are,
you can anticipate them coming to you sometime in the future,
wanting more/ some/ the rest of it back after all.
Thank you, that helps a lot