Do I have rights to my brothers estate

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have rights to my brothers estate

My brother recently passed away. He
named a girlfriend as executor on his
will. Do I have rights to homes and
belongings that he took as his from our
deceased parents?

Asked on April 4, 2018 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You indicate that he has a will. If he has a will, the will determines who gets what: a person has the right to will his estate to whomever he wants, and a brother or other sibling has no inhertent right to inherit when there is a will. So you need to see what his will says to know if you inherit anything. Since as a sibling, you might inherit if there was no will, if you feel the girlfriend is lying about the existence or contents of the will, or is improperly taking property left by the will to you, you could bring a legal action (often called an action for an "accounting") in county court (typically in what's called the "chancery" division) to have the court determine the validity of the will and make sure the executor is following it. While you are allowed to file such an action on your own, without an attorney ("pro se"), it is much more complex than, say, suing in small claims court; you are advised to consult with a probate attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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