If my grandmother passed away last year, can half of her grandchildren be left out of her estate?

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If my grandmother passed away last year, can half of her grandchildren be left out of her estate?

My aunt refuses to give us any information about the estate situation. She has moved in her house and will not give us what we feel we deserve. Our father (her son) past away many years ago and we are unable to find a Will although she told us personally she has one. I have all of her info (i.e. SSN, DOB, sddress, etc.), is their some type of database we can search to find out this information without having to go through her only living child? She is heavy on drugs and should not have the rights to my grandmother’s life investments.

Asked on May 15, 2012 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  You should start by going down to the probate court in the county in which your grandmother resided.  If your Aunt did probate a WIll then the Will would be filed in the court.  If there was no will then an intestacy proceeding will be filed and the intestacy laws in your state will govern how the esatet is to be divided.  It will let you know if you inherit your father's share.  If she was appointedas the personal representative and is not properly handling the estate then you need to have her removed.  If an estate was never filed then one of you can ask to be appointed.  Good luck.


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