Is it okay if the family meets at the house after the funeral and distributes the household furnishings?

We do not recommend allowing anyone to remove personal property and household furnishings.  Often there are specific distributions of personal property and household furnishings in the estate plan that will need to be made before any remaining household furnishings are distributed. 

In fact, we recommend that you consider changing the locks to the deceased’s home as quickly as possible.  You’d be surprised at some of the stories we’ve heard of family members being surprised to discover that a child or sibling entered without permission and helped themselves to various items that “the deceased would have wanted them to have.”  If you are the executor or trustee, it is your duty and obligation to ensure that the property is properly handled and distributed to the correct people at the appropriate time.