Do I need guardianship regarding an estate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I need guardianship regarding an estate?

My father recently passed away without a Will. I am the oldest and both of my brothers have a lawyer in place. They think that if I receive the money, I

will not distribute it evenly. However, I never said I wouldn’t, in fact I said I

would. I was told that I may need to get guardianship over his estate but I have no clue in how I should go about this.

Asked on March 28, 2018 under Estate Planning, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If there are no other children but the three of you and no surviving spouse, then the estate (money, real estate, etc.) goes to and is split evenly between the three of you. (After, that is, paying any final expenses and any unpaid bills your father left behind.)
What you need is not "guardianship" of the estate--guardianships are for people, not estates--but for someone (e.g. you) to be appointed the "personal representative" or "administrator" (some states use one term, some the other) for the estate: that is the person who essentially manages the estate and distributes the assets thereof. Contact the clerk of the probate court to ask about applying to be the personal representative or administrator for an estate when there is no will; the clerk should be able to direct you to information or resources.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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