Q: In PA, if my sister and I live with my father and he passes away, can we keep living in the house?
Both my sister and I are over 18 oh, and my father passed away. We both have been living in the house helping take care of him. He told us that both my sister and I would be getting 50% of the house. We have not been able to locate a Will anywhere, and I know we are supposed to pay inheritance tax within nine months. But my sister and I were wondering if we are able to stay in the house for 2 years before we decide on whether we want to sell the house or if one of us wants to keep it? Do we need to transfer into our names right away, or are we allowed to wait until we decide what we want to do with the house? Right now both of us just want to keep continue living in it, which we both agree on. There is no mortgage on the house or liens.
A: There are too many unanswered questions right now to give you a specific answer in this type of forum, but you are fortunate that there are no mortgages or liens on the house. You should meet with an experienced estates attorney to assist you in opening an estate administration (since there is no Will, if you and your sister are the only heirs they you are both eligible to be appointed as Estate Administrator, and you are most likely the only beneficiaries of the Estate as well under the PA Intestacy statute. This would gain you access to all of your father's assets and give you control over payment of any debts and taxes, and then also control over whether to sell the house or just deed it to you and your sister.
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