If my mother and father are both deceased and neither had a Will but they had a house, who would get the property?

UPDATED: Feb 8, 2015

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If my mother and father are both deceased and neither had a Will but they had a house, who would get the property?

Asked on February 8, 2015 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will they are said to have died "intestate". Accordingly, the intestacy laws (i.e. succession statutes) of the state in which the deceased was domiciled on the date of their death will control the distribution of their estate. Typically, such an estate is divided 1/2-1/3 to the surviving spouse, if any, and the remainder to their children; if no spuse then the estate is equally divided among the children of the deceased. You can google the name of the applicable state and the word "intestate distribution", to find out the law.

To start the process, you will need to file with the probate court and have a "personal representative" appointed. If your parents only had a house and not much else, you can also check the law for the steps to take for a small estate; a full probate may not be necessary.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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