Your case is very fact specific. First off, the will may have several other clauses or provisions in it which could help lead you to an answer. Second off, when you say Aunt's husband "left her", did they divorce? Also, who has ownership of the property? All of these questions are vital, and I would recommend that you see an attorney immediately to sort this all out.
Sounds like there is no specific gift in the will regarding the ring, which could be a problem. It would be difficult to prove that your grandmother orally promised you the ring, particularly since there is a will that I'm assuming is silent on this issue. Therefore, you would likely have a heavy burden of proof, whereas your mother could make a good case that she, as the executor, is simply administering the estate in such a way as to follow the will and the law.
Was there a will nominating guardians for the minors? If not, is there a dispute between the grandparents/elder half sisters as to who should be guardian? Those facts will determine how to proceed.
I practice estate law in Pennsylvania. You can contact my firm using the site below if you have some more questions.
Sorry for the loss in your family. I would strongly suggest that you seek out an experienced estate planning/estate administration attorney licensed in Pennsylvania. Some executors, in simple cases, choose to not hire an attorney and handle the administration themselves. However, an attorney handling the matter can ensure that it is carried out properly.
Regarding your question, the basic steps are that the will is first probated at the county Register of Will's office. At that point,...
I agree with the other posters. It depends on your comfort and sophistication level. However, you are not required to hire an attorney to handle your estate administration affairs. Most people do hire an attorney to make sure the administration is carried out correctly.
Probate fees in Pennsylvania are not that high, relatively speaking, and often times for a simple estate, you do not need an attorney. However, once an estate is opened at the Register of Wills, you cannot avoid probate on the assets that pass through the Will.
All of the forms to complete the PA Inheritance Tax are here:
However, you say you are unclear about what you need to do, and you should probably seek a qualified estate planning/administration attorney to assist you in your matter. Good luck.