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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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