Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

Fatherinlaw passed away. No will was found. Assumed everything went to spouse. Motherinlaw re- wrote her will and had POA all given to youngest (of 5 ) children who was living in the house. He is single/unemployed for 10 yrs. Motherinlaw passed away.

Youngest son owns everything now. However, in trying to sell one of 2 properties, it is in the Father's name only. Never had it changed. Who rightfully owns it? Sibling wants the other 4 to sign away our rights. AND Father's will has been found now. What good is his will?

Asked on 6/02/15, 8:15 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

John Davidson Law Office of John A. Davidson

You assumed wrong. Better find your self a good local estates lawyer to get this straight.


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Answered on 6/02/15, 8:33 am
Jeff Fleming Hippo, Fleming & Pertile Law Office

You should retain a lawyer with experience in estate matters to counsel you in regard to the probating of your father-in-law's will, challenging the validity of your mother-in-law's documents and verifying the accounting of her estate. There may be other issues as well, about which a lawyer can advise you.

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Answered on 6/02/15, 9:59 am

You don't post any relevant facts really. If father-in-law died with no will or no will was found, then his estate passes under the intestacy laws and everything does NOT go to his spouse. The spouse gets 1/2 to 1/3rd depending on how man children there are. If there are 2 or more its a 1/3rd. So children own a 2/3rd piece of all real property and personal property of father-in-law. Mother-in-law can re-write her will as she sees fit but she can only dispose of property that she owns solely, not father-in-law's property.

Under your scenario, the children of father-in-law inherited 2/3rd of his stuff and mother-in-law's 1/3rd share of the land would go to the beneficiary named in her will. Powers of attorney are only for the living. Once mother-inn-law died, her power of attorney designation ended and the agent has no more power as her will is controlling regarding the disposition of her assets.

Estates can be re-opened. I don't know what good father-in-law's will is because I do not know (nor do any of the other attorney's here) what it says. Who was to get assets. Can the estate for father-in-law be re-opened and would it make sense to do so? Who is the beneficiary in father-in-law's will? This is why the beneficiaries of the estates needs to quit posting here and go see a probate litigation attorney who practices in the county where the estates for the in-laws are pending.

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Answered on 6/03/15, 1:55 am

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