Q: My grandmother has passed away and has a Will that the four of her remaining children have shared upon each other. She had a total of 6 children but 2 have passed away. My mother is one of those two that has passed. I found out that my mother’s name is mentioned in that Will but have not been told anything about it by her remaining children. I do not know what the Will says exactly but if my mother is not present, does one of her children have a right to represent her? Do we have a right to read the Will? One of her eldest children is in power of the whole situation and is not willing to share any information.
A: If the will leaves part of the estate to your mother who predeceased grandmother, and doesn’t provide for an alternate heir in the event your mother predeceased the grandmother, her children would stand to inherit in equal shares assuming she is not married and has children. Some wills provide for an alternate beneficiary if a beneficiary of the will dies before the testator. If the will is silent on this, then PA intestate law takes effect, and the mother’s share passes down to her lineal descendants-children-if she has no spouse. You need some answers so it might be wise to have an attorney look at the will. If it was filed which normally means an estate was opened for your grandmother, the will should be on file in the Register of Wills.