Bethel Park, PA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: My brother passed away no kids or wife. No will that we can find. There are four remaining siblings, who becomes the

executor of his estate or how can I become the executor.?

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2 Lawyer Answers
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: In intestate (no will) cases, an Administrator, or Personal Representative, not an Executor, or Executrix, is appointed,

But each serves the same fiduciary function, to gather up and maximize the value of the estate for the benefit of the legal heirs.

The PA statutes designate the legal heirs of a decedent when there is no will.

As a sibling, you would be a candidate to serve as the Administrator. You would file an appropriate pleading with the probate court in the county of the decedent's residence, procure letters of authority, and proceed to collect the assets includable in the Estate and see to their distribution in accordance with the PA statutes.

In these circumstances, especially, it would be prudent to put a "family agreement" in writing, signed by all the eligible heirs at law, which would provide for an agreed appointment of an administrator, and then the terms of distribution of the decedent's property.

The probate clerks are almost always friendly and helpful, but, get a lawyer to help you through this procedure.

Steven J. Fromm and Michael Ryan Seward agree with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Wormleysburg, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Since there is no will, there will be an administrator appointed for the Estate. You do not state if both or either of your parents are still alive. If they are they will generally have the first right to serve as administrator. If both parents are deceased, you and your other siblings have equal opportunity to serve as administrator. If you would like to serve, and your siblings agree, then they can renounce their right to serve and you can file a petition to serve alone. If one or more your siblings would also like to serve, you can file a petition to serve jointly. If there is a dispute among the siblings then you can file a petition to serve, which they can contest and then there will be a hearing to decide the appointment. You really should meet with an experienced estate attorney to assist you in this process.

Steven J. Fromm and Michael Ryan Seward agree with this answer

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