San Antonio, TX asked in Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: Can I renounce my right as an executor, and is it difficult to do so?

My mother recently passed away. My father passed away in 2016. My mom had no will, no life insurance, or retirement savings. She had a mortgage, a car that was already paid for, and whatever money was left in her account from her monthly social security and wasn't already spent on the monthly bills. I am my mother's only child remaining. My brother passed away a few years ago.

I'm in a tough situation since my mother lived in Pennsylvania. I live in Texas, and I don't have the money to come to Pennsylvania to take care of her estate. I don't have the money for an attorney or even to get a bond for the attorney. I also read that your credit is checked for a bond. What happens if you have no credit? This is very stressful for me and making me worry about my own health.

Someone told me I can renounce my right as an executor. But is it possible to do so? And if I could do it, is it hard to do from another state?

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

A: It is fairly simple to renounce your right to administer an estate in Pennsylvania. You fill out form Orphans Court Form RW-06 (you can download it) including filling in who is agreeing to administer the estate in your place. You have to sign the form in the presence of a notary. You give the signed and notarized form to the person who will be petitioning to administer the estate and then they include that with their own petition and documents to open the estate.

Note that if the person who ends up administering the estate is a Pennsylvania resident, they will probably not need a bond as long as all the heirs entitled to inherit are over age 18.

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