Skip to main content

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

Pottsville, PA |

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

Attorney Answers 4

  1. 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 this information is for informational purposes only, and does not create and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not intended to be the rendering of legal advice for specific cases, you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel, and you should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

  2. 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 are seeking legal advice, feel free to contact our offices.

  3. 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 Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

  4. 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 legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Flood and Masiuk, LLC and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

Family law topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics