Can a sibling change an exisitng Willor create a new one for their parent?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2011

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Can a sibling change an exisitng Willor create a new one for their parent?

My parents had Wills established several years ago; I have them in my possession. My mother has since passed and my father is living. My oldest brother moved in with my father about 10 months ago. He is not the POA; I am. He claims that he has seen a lawyer and changed my father’s will without my or my siblings permission. Is that possible or legal?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your mother's will cannot be changed, since she has passed away.

Your father's will can be changed, IF he wants to change it--the testator may always modify, replace, cancel, etc. a will if he or she chooses, so long as he or she is still mentally competent. The permission of any family or of anyone else named in the will to be changed is not necessary. So if your father wanted to change his will--whether on his own, or at the urging of the oldest brother--he could do this.

If your father is not mentally competent, then there may be grounds to challenge the new will; your father may also need a guardian. If you think this is the case, you should consult with an elder law attorney. Good luck.

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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