Skip to Content

We are a Veteran Owned Business, providing 20% discounts for Veterans, First Responders, Elementary and High School teachers. Please contact us to set up a phone or Zoom meeting. Taking care of you and your family, It's What We Do!

If My Husband Died Without a Will, Who Inherits His Things?

Posted on Thu Aug 11, 2016, on Intestacy, Dying Without a Will

From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Intestacy; Dying Without a Will

Most Recently Updated August 8, 2018.

 If My Husband Died Without a Will, Who Inherits His Things

Probate Attorney, Tatyana Gleyzer.

“My husband died without a Will in Chester County, PA.  He owned real estate and had several accounts in his name alone.  He had no children, but his parents are both alive.  Do my husband’s parents inherit his estate?”

Intestacy; Dying Without a Will.

When a person dies without a Will, they have died “intestate.”  Each state has specific rules dividing a person’s assets if they die without a Will.  These rules differ from state-to-state. For example, compare the Pennsylvania Intestacy Rules to the New Jersey Intestacy Rules.

Your husband could have avoided these default rules using a Will. For example, there is no legal obligation to include parents in a Pennsylvania Will, so he could have easily excluded his parents from his estate.

When You Die Without A Will In Pennsylvania The Rules Of Intestacy Determine Your Heirs.

Your husband died without a Will, without children, married but with surviving parents.  Applying the Pennsylvania Intestacy Rules to those facts, you as his spouse receive the first $30,000 plus one-half of the remaining intestate estate.  His parents divide the remaining one-half share.  So, if your husband’s probate estate exceeds $30,000 his parents inherit a portion of his estate.

File A Petition For Administration.

You may open your spouse’s estate by filing a Petition for Administration.  In your case, it will be deposited with the Chester County Register of Wills.  As the surviving spouse, you will be considered first to serve as the Administrator. But, you must notify your in-laws.  They could choose to challenge your serving as Administrator. You would be wise to retain an experienced Probate Attorney.  Be prepared; your in-laws will have the right to object to every action you take.  They can question every expense incurred.  As your Probate Lawyer, I would advise you to keep them informed of the process and to obtain liability releases before distributing any assets.

See my website for more detailed information about the Chester County Probate Process.

More Probate Questions?

Intestate succession 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: Intestacy; Dying Without a Will

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining Intestacy and Dying Without a Will. 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!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

Tags:

Beneficiary, Chester County, Death, Estate Administration, Pennsylvania, Probate, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer, Rules of Intestacy, Surviving Spouse, Tatyana Gleyzer, Wills

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Elizabeth Ray

Peter and his associates were a pleasure to work with. He explained the process clearly and provided assistance nearly instantaneously. Highly recommended for trusts-and-estates-related needs!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Kevin K.

I was referred to Peter after my divorce to put documents together to protect my assets. He suggested a number of documents that would help protect my children and their future. Also, he put together wills, power of attorney and living wills. I initially spoke with him on the phone, he took 30-40 minutes to understand my situation and explain the benefits of having such documents. After a week or two, I met with him in his office and signed the documents. Everything else was remote phone calls and emails. He re-explained these documents and what whom to share. I am in good hands.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Glenn P.

Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Anne W.

I saw four lawyers and was told by all of them; I should just forget contesting my mother's will. I knew what happened, but it is very hard to prove undue influence. I contacted the Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk & Associates. Attorney Amanda DiChello took my case. They were very honest and upfront about what would be involved trying to prove what I knew was true. Attorney DiChello may be young but she is extremely knowledgeable and skilled. She listened and understood what I conveyed to her. She knew exactly what information to use and crafted an outstanding interrogatory and many powerful depositions. Attorney DiChello understood the various emotional feelings this case created for my family and me; she was always there for us with a kind and encouraging word. We went to trial. The amount of work which she and her Paralegal did for the trial was incredible. They both knew my case inside and out! Attorney DiChello's powerful interrogative and thinking skills produced a positive outcome. Attorney DiChello did what other seasoned lawyers said was impossible!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Joe Peters

Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.