What happens in an inheritance without a will in Pennsylvania? 2 Answers as of January 12, 2011

My father just passed away suddenly and without a will. My only brother passed away 6 months ago. What are the intestacy rules in PA? Should his two adult daughters get 50 percent?

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Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm | Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C.
It is assumed that your father had no surviving spouse. In such case, the following Section 2103 of the Pennsylvania Estates and Fiduciary Code provides that the issue take the entire estate. However, under the the rules of succession, if your predeceased brother left issue then his children would take his 1/3 share equally. So a quick reading of your facts would call for a one-third division between each daughter and the children of your brother. However, you should really meet and retain an estates attorney to confirm this answer by presenting all the facts.

2104. Rules of succession. The provisions of this chapter shall be applied to both real and personal estate in accordance with the following rules: (1) Taking in different degrees.The shares passing under this chapter to the issue of the decedent, to the issue of his parents or grandparents or to his uncles or aunts or to their children, or grandchildren, shall pass to them as follows: The part of the estate passing to any such persons shall be divided into as many equal shares as there shall be persons in the nearest degree of consanguinity to the decedent living and taking shares therein and persons in that degree who have died before the decedent and have left issue to survive him who take shares therein. One equal share shall pass to each such living person in the nearest degree and one equal share shall pass by representation to the issue of each such deceased person, except that no issue of a child of an uncle or aunt of the decedent shall be entitled to any share of the estate unless there be no relatives as close as a child of an uncle or aunt living and taking a share therein, in which case the grandchildren of uncles and aunts of the decedent shall be entitled to share, but no issue of a grandchild of an uncle or aunt shall be entitled to any share of the estate.

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. (Apr. 18, 1978, P.L.42, No.23, eff. 60 day
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 1/12/2011
LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
Under PA law, the estate passes in equal shares to you and your sister.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 1/12/2011
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