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If you are the executor/personal representative (PR) of an estate it is your responsibility to secure the assets of the estate. I myself dealt with this issue when probating my father and his second wife’s estates. It seems the step sister took it upon herself to go to the house and take whatever she desired such as a car and a fur coat. I missed my Dad’s service at the cemetery because I overheard her tell her husband she was going to the house instead of the cemetery. So I got ride from the funeral director to go to the house to stand guard. My sister and I played Hell trying to get that stuff back from her. This is true even if the property is in a trust. Assets within a trust are to be distributed to the heirs just as in probate but in the case of a trust there is no court involvement.

The biggest problems seem to come from the smallest items, those that have emotional value vs. financial value. It is best if there are things held in the trust or estate that they be listed in an addendum to the trust or will laying out who is to get what items. If there are two or more siblings who wanted the same item then they can get mad at the parent and not with each other. It is the PRs responsibility to insure these items get to the designated recipient and don’t walk to someone’s house that it was not intended to go to.