What happens to my father’s esate if he dies without a Will?

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What happens to my father’s esate if he dies without a Will?

My father is dying of cancer. He has refused his entire life to have a written Will. He is legally married but has lived seperately from his wife for the last 10 years.

Asked on May 4, 2013 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am assuming that his wife is not your Mother for the purposes here.  If he dies with out a Will then he is deemed to die "intestate" and the intestate succession laws in the state will apply.  Now, are there assets held jointly?  THose assets pass to her automatically upon his death.  As for the rest, she will inherit half of the intestate property and you as the descendants will inherit everything else.  If you can convince him now to write a Will it would be a good idea.  Good luck.


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