Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

My mother and father divorced when I was approx. 4 yrs. old. My father married again, but never had any other children. He recently passed away. What are my rights to any property/estate that he may have had, and what do I need to do to start the process to claim what I may be entitled to?

Asked on 6/10/13, 11:59 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Glenn Brown Real World Law, P.C.

Someone needs to open an estate, that could be you, if there is no will then the Pennsylvania laws of intestacy will control the distribution. See a local lawyer.

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Answered on 6/10/13, 12:09 pm

John Davidson Law Office of John A. Davidson

First, did he have a will? If he did then that controls the dispersal of his estate if there isn't a will then the intestacy laws control.


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Answered on 6/10/13, 12:13 pm
Kevin Pollock Law Office of Kevin A. Pollock LLC

Sorry to hear about your loss. As Mr. Davidson said, if he had a Will, then that would control who administers the estate and who receives what.

If he had no Will, then you and any siblings you might have would equally share in your father's estate according to Pennsylvania's intestacy laws. I presume your father was a Pennsylvania resident at the time he passed. It is his residence that controls where the probate occurs, not your residency.

The next step would be to seek an administration for your father's estate. You can try doing this yourself by going to the local Orphan's Court or you can seek legal counsel for help.

Don't forget that there will be a 4.5% inheritance tax, so you want to move quickly to pay that to avoid penalties and late fees.

Kevin A. Pollock, J.D., LL.M.

P: (609) 818-1555

Licensed to practice law in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Also, visit my blogs at:


The foregoing is offered for informational purposes only and is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. To indicate that you have read the answer it would be appreciated if you would check either the thumbs up or thumbs down box below. Circular 230 Disclosure: Any federal tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended or written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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Answered on 6/10/13, 12:35 pm

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