Are my neices entitled to any of my parents’ estate if there was no Will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Are my neices entitled to any of my parents’ estate if there was no Will?

Both my parents passed away and I had a sister who also passed before my parents. There was no will and there are 4 of us kids still living. We hired a lawyer to handle my father’s estate and made my sister the administrator of the estate. I’ve talked to my sister, the administrator, to remove my 2 neices off of our father’s estate and she said no, that the lawyer told her it was legal. She told me to call the lawyer and ask him. Well I have called the lawyer but every time his receptionist tells me he stepped out and he doesn’t return my calls. Is this lawyer right about my neices are legal to get a share of my father’s estate?

Asked on September 29, 2016 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

When somone dies without a Will, they are said to have died "intestate". This means that the distribution of their estate is controlled by the laws of the state in which they were domiciled as of the date of their death. Typically, an estate is divided among the deceased's spouse, if any, and the children of the deceased. Further, if any of their children predecease them, then the deceased child's heirs (i.e. their spouse/children) are entitled to their share. Bottom line, your neices are entitled to your late sister's inheritance.

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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