Why do I need to probabte my father’s estate in order to settle my grandfather’s estate?

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Why do I need to probabte my father’s estate in order to settle my grandfather’s estate?

My grandfather passed 3 years ago and I was listed as a secondary beneficiary after my father and aunt. My father recently passed and I inherited property from him that was recently transfered from my grandfathers estate. I am trying to settle the original estate of my grandfather but I am being told that I have to probate my dad’s estate before moving forward on my grandfather’s. Is this true? I am listed in the Will as the person who recieves the remaining property in the event of my father’s death so I don’t understand what my dad’s property has to do with it.

Asked on March 30, 2012 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Christopher Vaughn-Martel / VAUGHN-MARTEL LAW

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry to hear about your loss.

Because your father passed away after your grandfather, your father was the proper recipient of your grandfather's estate, assuming it was left to him.  In order to go back and clear title to property and properly administer your grandfather's estate, your father's estate will need to be set up so that you have authority to act with respect to the property.  You can probably do these two things nearly simultaneously, but you want authority to act on behalf of your father's estate first.

This is likely going to be complicated, and you should feel free to contact our probate administration attorney for assistance or representation as you carry out your duties.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses here.  Let's start with your grandfather's estate.  The way he worded his Will - that yo were to receive the money in the event of your father's death - meant that if your father died before your grandfather (predeceased him) then the money would go to you.  But because your Father died after your grandfather (post deceased) the money "vested" in his estate.  So in order for your grandfather' s executor to distribute the funds he or she has to to do so to "your father's estate."   In order to transfer anything from your father's estate that estate has to be probated as well.  Good luck.


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