Klenk Law

As executor of my uncle’s estate, what do I do with his mountain of gay porn?

Posted on Wed Aug 19, 2015, on Pennsylvania

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I was surprised to learn that my uncle named me executor of his estate, but now I think I know why. My uncle was a private guy. In opening up a storage locker he had rented, I found what I could only describe as a mountain of gay porn. My uncle was a single man who never came out. I think he knew that I would handle this discovery discreetly, as his sisters are very homophobic. If they knew about this locker they would be really upset. I was going to just dump the locker contents, but a friend told me that this stuff might be worth as much as $20,000. As executor of my uncle’s estate, what do I do with his mountain of gay porn?

As executor, you have a duty to gather together estate assets for the beneficiaries. The porn you found is an asset, which might be worth a substantial amount. If you dump it into the trash and the beneficiaries find out and complain, you could then be found responsible for a $20,000 loss, be “surcharged,” and have to put your own money into the estate. It also seems your uncle chose you as executor because he was relying on you to be discreet. There is no requirement that you share the details of your discovery. If your uncle wished to keep his private matters private, you certainly can respect his wish.

I have a practical suggestion. It sounds like the heirs are not interested in receiving a “mountain” of gay porn. Instead, consider placing an advertisement on Craigslist for the locker contents and sell the lot to the highest bidder. By doing so, you will have fulfilled your duty as executor to secure the estate assets. If the heirs are not overly curious, you can simply add the proceeds from the sale to the estate account. The rest of the family will be happy to receive the cash. Feel free to contact me and we could brainstorm other options.

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