Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

my grandfather died in penn with no spouse. he had one child in his life my father who is dead for years. do i hve claim to his estate or part of?

Asked on 1/08/12, 5:40 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Berman Law Offices of Michael A. Berman
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You may, but you need to study the Intestacy Law. Did your grandfather have any living brothers and sisters when he died?

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Answered on 1/08/12, 8:47 am
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It depends on if your grandfather had a will and what it provided. If there was a will, then

the PA anti-lapse statute provides:

20 Pa.C.S.A. 2514 Rules of interpretation

(9) Lapsed and void devises and legacies; substitution of issue.--A devise or bequest to a child or other issue of the testator or to his brother or sister or to a child of his brother or sister whether designated by name or as one of a class shall not lapse if the beneficiary shall fail to survive the testator and shall leave issue surviving the testator but shall pass to such surviving issue who shall take per stirpes the share which their deceased ancestor would have taken had he survived the testator: Provided, That such a devise or bequest to a brother or sister or to the child of a brother or sister shall lapse to the extent to which it will pass to the testator's spouse or issue as a part of the residuary estate or under the intestate laws.

(10) Lapsed and void devises and legacies; shares not in residue.--A devise or bequest not being part of the residuary estate which shall fail or be void because the beneficiary fails to survive the testator or because it is contrary to law or otherwise incapable of taking effect or which has been revoked by the testator or is undisposed of or is released or disclaimed by the beneficiary, if it shall not pass to the issue of the beneficiary under the provisions of clause (9) hereof, and if the disposition thereof shall not be otherwise expressly provided for by law, shall be included in the residuary devise or bequest, if any, contained in the will.

If there was no will, then look to the intestacy law:

20 Pa.C.S.A. 2103 Shares of others than surviving spouse

The share of the estate, if any, to which the surviving spouse is not entitled, and the entire estate if there is no surviving spouse, shall pass in the following order:

(1) Issue.--To the issue of the decedent.

(2) Parents.--If no issue survives the decedent, then to the parents or parent of the decedent.

(3) Brothers, sisters, or their issue.--If no parent survives the decedent, then to the issue of each of the decedent's parents.

(4) Grandparents.--If no issue of either of the decedent's parents but at least one grandparent survives the decedent, then half to the paternal grandparents or grandparent, or if both are dead, to the children of each of them and the children of the deceased children of each of them, and half to the maternal grandparents or grandparent, or if both are dead to the children of each of them and the children of the deceased children of each of them. If both of the paternal grandparents or both of the maternal grandparents are dead leaving no child or grandchild to survive the decedent, the half which would have passed to them or to their children and grandchildren shall be added to the half passing to the grandparents or grandparent or to their children and grandchildren on the other side.

(5) Uncles, aunts and their children, and grandchildren.--If no grandparent survives the decedent, then to the uncles and aunts and the children and grandchildren of deceased uncles and aunts of the decedent as provided in section 2104(1) (relating to taking in different degrees).

(6) Commonwealth.--In default of all persons hereinbefore described, then to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Answered on 1/09/12, 1:11 pm


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