Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

My father just passed away leaving no will . How is it decided who gets what ? He was divorced twice only one remaining ex alive and four children . Three of whom are full siblings and the other is half to them. Do i need to file any forms or papers.

Asked on 5/29/10, 12:46 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Matthew Kelly Kelly Law

Hi, if your father didn't leave a will, his estate would pass by the intestacy statute which basically acts like a will. Children, spouse, parents others. This would apply to assets that did not have beneficiary designations like life insurance, maybe an IRA. Yes, you should take his death certificate to the register of wills at the county courthouse in the county in which he lived and tell them he had no will. You will need to determine beforehand who will serve as the administrator (like an executor). There can be more than one, but not always a good idea to have more than 2.

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Answered on 5/29/10, 4:14 pm

The property that did not have a beneficiary designation would pass via intestacy to the four children. You should talk to the other children and decide which of you is willing to be the administrator of your father's estate. That person should go to a probate attorney to assist him or her with probating the estate. But it may depend on what assets your father had at the time of his death. If there were no assets and no land, it may be that probate is not necessary.

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Answered on 5/29/10, 10:05 pm

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