If my mom passed away and had no Will, how do I sell her house?

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If my mom passed away and had no Will, how do I sell her house?

Asked on April 5, 2012 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Steven Fromm / Steven J Fromm & Associates, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You don't until you get named administrator of her estate.  No one can act for an estate until they are legally recognized by the courts as an administrator where there is no will or an executor where there is a will.  Get with an estates attorney to assist you in the process.  Do not try this on your own.

For a sense of what is involved in administering an estate in most states, please see the following two articles:  Estate & Probate Administration: Do Not Try This On Your Own at http://www.sjfpc.com/page1.html  and Pennsylvania Probate & Estate Administration: Executor Duties at http://www.sjfpc.com/pennsylvania_probate_estate__administration_duties_of_executor_and_administrator.html

 

Michael Duffy / Duffy Law, LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Hi there,

First, I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a difficult time and having to worry about these matters only makes it worse. You're doing the right thing by addressing it now, though.

If there is no will it's called an "intestate" estate, and there are laws that determine the distribution of the estate. It can be a complicated process. An administrator will have to be appointed by the PA Orphan's Court, who must probate the estate, settle any debts and distribute any remaining assets. Unfortunately, for a family already grieving, the potential disputes that can arise in such a situation are great. If the estate's assets are greater than it's debts, it's well-advised to consult an attorney to ensure the process is properly handled.

If you would like to discuss your matter further over a free and confidential phone consult, please contact me at your convenience.


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