Mom died a widow, leaving behind 2 children. There is a typed up will but ...

Asked about 2 years ago - Philadelphia, PA

...this will leaves 100% to only one child. It is witnessed by this same child and 1 other person. It is not notarized. I am told this will is invalid and that intestate rules apply. There are many emails btwn the 2 children agreeing to an even split but now the 1 in the will chg'd mind and is making threats if he isn't paid all. What to do? Can this be sent to probate court for a judge to decide? The child named in the will and who wants all lives 3000 miles away. Does he have to appear in PA or will judge proceed with/without his presence?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Tanner Woods Pittman

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . The answer to your last question depends upon whether your mother died in Pennsylvania. Her estate would be probated wherever she was domiciled at the time of her death.

    All the other questions are answered by this: the will is invalid. Unless there are other facts here (such as a subsequent (and properly witnessed) amendment which re-published the will), then the will is a nullity. A beneficiary's witnessing a will essentially negates the witness signature. There's really nothing for a judge to decide.

    Consider hiring a lawyer. This kind of stuff gets dicey.

    No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by this communication.
  2. Erin M. Thrash

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . I would take the Will to an attorney for purposes of having it declared valid or not by the Judge. Once you have a determiniation from the Judge you can make further decisions regarding the distributions. Generally I agree, that with the facts you have provided, the Will is likely invalid and the laws of intestacy in the jurisdiction will govern the distribution of Mom's assets. This means that 50/50 is MUCH more likely than the winner take all theory of your sibling.
    Find an attorney int he jurisdiction in which your mother lived (and died?) for assistance.

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