Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania

A person in the state of PA dies. Their daughter is co-executive with their step-daughter. If the first co-executor (the daughter) is doing things such as taking items from the house without running it by other partial owners of the property or the other co-executive, does another third party sister have the right to change the locks to the property.

Asked on 6/06/11, 4:01 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Sharmil McKee McKee Law Office

Probably not. I understand the other sister's desire to preserve the estate's assets. However, the sister can't exclude a person if they have legal right to possess it or occupy it. Unless the will dictates otherwise, the property and the items inside are owned jointly and equally by all heirs. (I do not know how much the step-daughter inherits without more facts). The best thing to do is to file a petition with the court asking the executor to explain the status of the assets. Anyone who will receive a gift from the estate is entitled to ask the court for this accounting. You may also ask the court to appoint someone else as the estate's representative. I recommend disbursing the assets according to the will promptly. I also recommend hiring an attorney. It sounds like this situation is just the tip of the iceberg; this has the potential to turn into a serious family drama. I wish you luck.

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Answered on 6/06/11, 7:57 pm

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