Philadelphia, PA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York

Q: Do I have legal grounds to be the administrator/representative or a co-admin/co-rep of my grandfather's estate and why?

My grandfather died in 1994. He had three children (two daughters with his first wife, my grandmother, and one son with his second wife, my step-grandmother). Both wives have died. Both daughters have died. My mother had two children (both alive). My aunt had three children (two alive). My grandfather left no will. My estranged uncle of 25 years now says he, himself, had abandoned my grandfather's co-op 10 years ago, which is now in arrears of $72,000. My uncle (the son of my step-grandmother) is now petitioning the court to become the admin/rep for first, his mother's estate, and then, second, his father's estate, essentially double dipping. He got our contact information for the petition under false pretenses. When requested, his lawyer said I could not be a co-admin and I had no legal standing to bring this petition. His lawyer never sent us notice with the date or docket number to appear in court and contest this petition. Do I have the right to become the admin or co-admin?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: It does appear that you might be an intestate heir because your mother (grandfather's daughter) has died. Therefore, you have an interest in the estate. Therefore, you have standing to petition to be appointed personal representative of your grandfather's estate. Do not delay. If your uncle has already filed a petition to be appointed, there is a very short time for you to file your own competing petition. The judge will then have to choose. You should hire a probate attorney to assist you.

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