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Deceased tenant and estranged wife.

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  • Deceased tenant and estranged wife.

    A tenant passed away, he has been separated from his wife for a number of years. I have tried checking the laws for Oklahoma, but they are unclear. What does she need before I can give her the unit information to clear out his belongings? If he is still legally married, does it have to go through probate?

  • #2
    I cant speak for Oklahoma but in California they typically need a court ruling them as heirs to everything. The worst thing you can do is give her access and a family member claims that was their stuff and you had no right according to law to give that stuff away. While laws are different, I was told not to give out any information about the unit number or access code. If they were married, it would go to probate for sure. It just all depends. Sometimes they will try to force you to act quickly but take your time with the information you have. Like a power of attorney means nothing after death. Even a will does not mean anything as it could of changed a bunch of times.

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    • #3
      The wife will have to go to probate court.
      The court will name her to have access to the property.
      There is a form that the court will give her and it is signed by the Judge and I believe it may have the raised seal as well.
      No form
      No access.

      Do not give her anything.

      When I hear of a tenant passing away, I immediately go and manager overlock and most times I will also disable the access code.

      However, think about this.
      The tenant is dead.
      Somewhere in his home is the lease and/or a printed receipt (maybe) that lists the unit number and there will be set of his keys somewhere.

      There is NOTHING that you can do if she or anyone gets the correct info to gain access.

      Do not offer her any information.
      She is not your tenant.
      The deceased is.

      Good luck and keep us posted.
      Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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      • #4
        What lady said. Plus, how do you know for sure he is dead?
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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        • #5
          By the way, welcome to the forum.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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          • #6
            Most states you have to be named by the court to be a personal representative. No form no access

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lady5563 View Post
              The wife will have to go to probate court.
              The court will name her to have access to the property.
              There is a form that the court will give her and it is signed by the Judge and I believe it may have the raised seal as well.
              No form
              No access.

              Do not give her anything.

              When I hear of a tenant passing away, I immediately go and manager overlock and most times I will also disable the access code.

              However, think about this.
              The tenant is dead.
              Somewhere in his home is the lease and/or a printed receipt (maybe) that lists the unit number and there will be set of his keys somewhere.

              There is NOTHING that you can do if she or anyone gets the correct info to gain access.

              Do not offer her any information.
              She is not your tenant.
              The deceased is.

              Good luck and keep us posted.
              Be careful about changing the access or overlocking. Imagine if the tenant wasn't dead. You now overlocked them and denied them access to their unit. Plus, if someone already has a gate code and key, who are you to stop them from accessing the unit. Carlos Keslow and I believe Jeff Greenberger said we should not interfere what they did during their lifetime. Otherwise you would have to inspect everyone coming onto the property to ensure they are the tenant. If they are not the tenant, why are they not stopped like the people attempting to access the unit that have a key and gate access?

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              • #8
                Just had a similar issue- I had to defend myself from the state attorneys who came calling 3 months after the tenant died- apparently tenants daughter was pissed that the tenants friend cleared the unit out immediately after death. They had the key and the code to get in so I didnt stop them, for the same reasons PleaseInform Me above stated. I recently attended a seminar where they covered the topic and said it was OK to allow access if hey had the key and code bc it was reasonable to assume tenant gave it to them. I also had a verbal from the tenant prior to their death they wanted their friend to access the unit. I had good notes to document all of it, and eventually the attorney backed off but I was pretty worried this would escalate to a lawsuit. Now, I take extra precautions- I do like Lady5563 does- immediately over lock and demand a signed court document naming them executor or beneficiary I dont care who they are.
                You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....

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                • #9
                  I had a tenant die last month and his brother came in with a cert copy of death cert and I told him the other paperwork I needed to allow access and unit is locked out till I get that. He gave me his c/c for the auto pay to keep rent current and came in Tuesday with what I needed. He understood all the steps and thanked me for being thorough. The ones that complain either are lazy and don't care that we as managers would get into trouble or they have nefarious intent to get one or two things and walk away. It is what it is and statutes/laws dictate procedure. Live with it.
                  "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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