Father in law passed away no will, one siblings name is on the mbile home. other siblings are estranged from father.

Asked over 2 years ago - Pottsville, PA

can the sole siblng that has their name on the protperty control all the assets of the deceased.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. 5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hello ...

    No. Absolutely not. An "Administrator" (same as an "Executor" but used when there is no Will), needs to be appointed.

    End of story.

    Let me know what happens.

    Good luck,



    John B. Whalen, Jr., J.D., LL.M. is an AV Peer Review Attorney and Counselor at Law, is listed in The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, is Avvo Rated 10.0 Superb, is a recipient of the Legum Magister (LL.M.) Post-Doctorate Degree in Taxation (from the Villanova University School of Law), and is a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Wills, Trusts, and Estates (from the Widener University School of Law).

    John B. Whalen, Jr., Esq. provides free initial home consultations seven (7) days per week, including all evenings, weekends, and holidays, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.


    Although we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail, please remember that... more
  2. 5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In addition to agreeing with the answers of my two fine colleagues, I would add the following, since this issue crops up repeatedly on Avvo:

    The law doesn't care who's estranged from whom; who Mom liked best; or even who took Mom to Bingo every Thursday night for the past 27 years. The law only cares about ownership, as shown through such proofs as bank accounts, deeds, wills and titles, or, if there's a fight over assets, a Court Order. These are, and will be the documents which are used to determine who, at the end of the day, gets what.

    The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing... more
  3. 4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The short answer is no. If your father-in-law did not leave a will, then an administrator should be appointed to handle his estate. To accomplish this, an interested person (usually a beneficiary) will file a petition for "Letters of Administration" at the Register of Wills in the county where your father-in-law resided at his death. If multiple individuals file Petitions to be an administrator, then the Orphan's court will appoint one or more of them to serve.

    An administrator has important responsibilities, including gathering and safeguarding the probate assets of the deceased person, paying all debts (from the estate funds), and filing necessary tax returns. Whoever plans to file a petition to be appointed as administrator should seek the assistance of an attorney first.


    Marshall Chriswell

    Law Offices of Marshall D. Chriswell
    714 Philadelphia St., Suite 200
    Indiana, PA 15701
    (888) 438-5977
    (724) 465-5826


    Marshall D. Chriswell is a civil practitioner with offices in Indiana and Clearfield Counties. Mr. Chriswell's practice emphasizes Wills & Estate Planning, Probate, Real Estate, and general civil disputes.


    Mr. Chriswell provides free initial consultations, and will gladly meet clients in their homes upon request, including on the evenings or weekends.

    This communication does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship. If you... more
  4. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . While I agree with the other answers in light of the scarcity of facts included in your summary, there are MANY situations where the parents places one child's name on ALL of the assets. If that was done in this case, then the assets pass outside of probate and the one child owns it all.

    The lone beneficiary may or may not have a moral obligation to share the assets with his or her siblings. In your case, since the rest of you were estranged from your father, it is very feasible that he intentionally disinherited the rest of you. If that is the case, then yes, the sole sibling would not only be "in control" of everything, but would also be the owner of everything.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more

Related Topics

Inheritance rights and estate planning

Inheritance rights refers to the rights most states give to a spouse (and in some cases, children or grandchildren) that prevent you from disinheriting them.

Probate assets

Probate assets are owned solely by the deceased and do not have any survivorship feature (like a beneficiary designation) for automatic transfer of ownership.

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