Saint Albans, WV asked in Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: My Mother did not leave a will. 3 surviving kids, 2 deceased. Are the kids of the 2 deceased entitled to her estate.

I know the 3 surviving children of my Mother's split her estate. Does that include the 2 deceased son's as well? Do their children get a piece of my Mother's estate without a will?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen M. Asbel
Stephen M. Asbel
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Under Pennsylvania law when there is no will, assuming that your mother was not married at the time of her death, the estate would be divided into equal shares - one share for each living child and one share for each deceased child who has living children or descendants. Each living child would receive a share. For the shares of deceased children, the children of the deceased children would equally divide the share of their deceased parent.

So for example, if each of the 2 deceased children had 3 children of their own, then each of those grandchildren of your mother would receive 1/15 of the estate - that is one-third of their deceased parent's one-fifth share.

Note that the division of shares of the estate is of what is left after payment of the debts, administration expenses and taxes due from the estate.

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