Philadelphia, PA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: My father's estate is in probate in PA. As an heir, do I have the rights to enter house?

The are five sibling and the will specifies that the estate be settled equally; each sibling receiving 20%. My sister lived with my father prior to his passing and continues to occupy the property. She is the executrix of the estate and has specifically denied us access to the house. We want to enter the home in order to document (via pictures & video) the lack of progress in preparing the house for sale. It's been five months and the interior of the home is completely cluttered with her stuff. We had already cleared my father's stuff out within three weeks of his passing.

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

A: The executrix stands as your deceased father's personal representative so she can decide who can enter the property. The rest of the beneficiaries have a beneficial interest. If you believe the estate is not being administered properly or the property is not being maintained, you can file a petition in the Orphans Court in the county in which the estate was opened to seek an order for access, for an accounting of the estate, or even to have your sister removed from her position with the Court appointing a new personal representative. It would be helpful for you to consult with a local attorney who has experience in this area.

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