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.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • 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.

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