What can be done if my uncle died about 20 years ago and left a handwritten Will leaving his car to his mom and his house to his caregiver?

UPDATED: Jan 23, 2014

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What can be done if my uncle died about 20 years ago and left a handwritten Will leaving his car to his mom and his house to his caregiver?

His mom (my grandma) has died since then along with my dad. We have came across some info recently about some gas rights from my great grandfather who passed away in the 70’s leaving them to my dad and my uncle (who have both passed) and 2 cousins. Where would my uncle’s share go? He had 1 brother my dad and a half-sister.

Asked on January 23, 2014 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A handwriten will is a tricky matter and would have to comply with all state probate law/estate law for it to be valid. The gas rights will complicate matters. But here is the deal. You need to figure out if the gas rights again complied with state law as a bequest. If it did, then the gas rights would go to your dad and uncle jointly. If your uncle had issue (kids) and obviously your dad did, you need to realize it may be jointly shared by all kids. As to your uncle's will, you then need to go and check if the will is valid. If so, then the car would have gone to the mom but since your grandmother died, it would go to your dad and half-sister of your dad. As to the house, did the caretaker take it? If not, did she know she was given the house? You need an estate attorney to unravel this for you.

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