A: Father died long ago. Why is this an issue now? His probate assets would have been divided at the time of his death between his surviving spouse and his biological or adopted children. You do not indicate what probate assets there were or how the asset were titled.
Shares of surviving spouse and children are set forth below, assuming estate of father was in PA:
20 Pa.C.S.A. § 2102. Share of surviving spouse
The intestate share of a decedent's surviving spouse is:
(1) If there is no surviving issue or parent of the decedent, the entire intestate estate.
(2) If there is no surviving issue of the decedent but he is survived by a parent or parents, the first $30,000 plus one-half of the balance of the intestate estate. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the case of a decedent who died as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a surviving spouse shall be entitled to 100% of any compensation award paid pursuant to the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (Public Law 107-42, 115 Stat. 230). [FN1]
(3) If there are surviving issue of the decedent all of whom are issue of the surviving spouse also, the first $30,000 plus one-half of the balance of the intestate estate.
(4) If there are surviving issue of the decedent one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, one-half of the intestate estate.
(5) In case of partial intestacy any property received by the surviving spouse under the will shall satisfy pro tanto the $30,000 allowance under paragraphs (2) and (3).
20 Pa.C.S.A. § 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.
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