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Am handling estate w/ no will. Supposed to send beneficiary a notice under the 5.6 rule of the PA Estate & Fiduciary Code

Lansdale, PA |

Is this just a simple letter to someone putting them on official notice that they are beneficiary? Or is more complicated than that? I am clueless. Please help.

I have since met with an elder attorney and was told that if there was a will, then the matter would have gone to probate and the 5.6 letter would have been required. Attorney also said since there was no will, my filing the rev 1500 forms was proper and there is no legallly required letter that I must send out. All heirs are aware of they are getting a share of the estate via mail and email.

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Attorney answers 4


You have not disclosed the status of any legal proceedings or whether an attorney is involved. Your question does suggest strongly that whatever you do with this estate is going to be a struggle. The first clue is the fact that without a will there is no beneficiary. There are heirs. This is so fundamental to the proper administration of an estate, you are foolish in the extreme to proceed without counsel. Locate and hire an experienced probate attorney as soon as you can manage. Your attorney will handle the notice and a dozen other things that confuse you. Without expert help you risk costly personal liability. Put another way, you are playing with fire.

Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.



She had 2 sons. Both agree and signed a paper as to the splitting of her estate. I submitted the inheritance tax return to the county. Now it's been sent to Harrisburg for review.

Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Brown Sinclair


Nothing you have said changes the information I have provided.


Ms. Sinclair offers sound advice. Pennsylvania has specific rules about notices and the steps to take for an estate administraiton. If you are clueless you cannot rely on a general forum like AVVO or trying to get guidance on the internet. Estate administration should not be tried on your own.

For a sense of what is involved in administering an estate in PA, please see the following two articles: Estate & Probate Administration: Do Not Try This On Your Own at and Pennsylvania Probate & Estate Administration: Executor Duties at Be sure to hit the like button at the end of these articles if you found them helpful.

Hope this helps.

Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Fort Washington. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is and his blog is

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is <> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


If you are "clueless" as you have told us, then why are you do-it-yourselfing it?

With all respect, your question sounds like someone who thinks they have a problem with the transmission of their car. They take the transmission apart, have the parts all over the floor, and then they write, "Now what?"

If I would not venture to fix my transmission on my own, why would you try to practice law?

A 5.6 Notice is not just words on a page. It's a very specific notice required by law requiring very specific information for a very specific purpose. Please do yourself a favor. Find a qualified lawyer to help you..

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Hello ... I am sorry for your situation, but all of the answers that have been provided are dead-on accurate.

All of us here enjoy assisting people with issues in this complex area of law, but as your are - in essence - road-blocked in one of the earlier and easier tasks in the Estate Administration process, why would you continue without assistance.

I do understand that the economy, money, etc. all play a part in your decision to seek professional help, but - at the end of the day - you took an oath in front of the Register of Wills.

Is risking your future with any breach of fiduciary duties to the heirs really worth you getting sued?

Just food for thought.

Good luck,


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