Arlington, VA asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania

Q: My dad died years ago with no will, everything went to step mom. My step mom just passed away about 6 months ago and

Left everything to her daughter in will. Do I have anything to fight for if the house was still in both step mom and my fathers name on deed?

1 Lawyer Answer
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: If the deed was held in your father and step-mom's names as joint tenants, with right of survivorship, or tenancy by entirety, then when he died, yes, "everything", including full legal title to the property, went to her.

If the deed says they held title as tenants in common, then when he died intestate, his surviving spouse and children each inherit a shared interest in the property.

Sounds like they held title as joint tenants w/ right of survivorship, and if that's the case, the surviving spouse can bequeath the property to whoever she wants. If she dies without a will, the property goes to her heirs at law, i.e., her children.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.