From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Missing Sibling During Philadelphia Probate Process
Most Recently Updated July 26, 2018.
“My mother died a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, survived by three sons. She had no will. One of my brothers has signed the renunciation giving me the right to serve as the Administrator. My other brother is homeless, and I don’t know where he is. What can I do?”
Missing Sibling During Philadelphia Probate Process
The Register of Wills may issue Letters of Administration to give authority to someone to act as the Administrator of an estate if the person died without a will. The statue spells out who has a right to serve, and if the person dies without a spouse then each child has the right to serve. Most often, the children will agree on one person to serve and the other children will complete renunciations in favor of that person.
In your case, one of those brothers is not available to sign the renunciation. Because your brother has just as much right to serve as Administrator as you do, the Register will require that you prove that he is truly unavailable. As you can imagine, the Register sometimes encounters people who simply lie about a sibling’s whereabouts in order to gain control over the estate. Therefore, the Register cannot simply take your word that your sibling is unavailable.
Contact the Register and see what proof will be required in your case. Follow through with those requirements, but expect that you will also be required to purchase a bond. You may also be forced to attend a hearing with the Register’s representative to present your reason for being made the Administrator. You may wish to have an experienced Philadelphia County Probate Attorney represent you at that hearing.
More Probate Questions?
Obtaining a renunciation from a missing sibling is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.
In Conclusion: Missing Sibling During Philadelphia Probate Process
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining what to do if your sibling is missing and you need a renunciation. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!
Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys. By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!
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