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At Marks Elder Law we remain committed to serving you and meeting your legal needs promptly – more than ever in these demanding times. Our office is again open for any work that can’t be effectively done remotely, including meeting with clients (though we still use videoconferencing, phone and email as well)

Having up-to-date estate planning arrangements in the form of Powers of Attorney and Wills, at least, is crucial to peace of mind as well as actual preparedness. You may benefit from taking your planning a step further with a Revocable Trust, and some families absolutely need Special Needs Trust type planning  for any family member with a disability.

If you are headed toward expensive long-term care such as in a nursing home, you must seek expert advice to protect yourself, your assets and your family.  With the right advice, long-term care patients and their families get a much, much better bottom line result. We can help you protect your assets.

Finally,  if a loved one has died, we also provide expert assistance to help you wind up their affairs  and administer their estate. These are some ways in which we  at MARKS ELDER LAW  may be able to help you.  Please keep reading, and call or email today.


What happens when someone dies without a will?

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2020 | Estate Planning

A will establishes a person’s wishes for his or her belongings and affairs after death. When a person dies without a will, his or her estate is subject to state inheritance laws.

In Pennsylvania, these provisions govern the settlement of an estate in the absence of a will.

Assets with a named beneficiary

Some assets will automatically pass to the person named as a beneficiary if the owner dies without a will. Examples include assets co-owned with another person, payable-on-death bank accounts and securities, retirement accounts, life insurance proceeds, and assets in a living trust.

Intestate succession

Other assets pass to family members in a process known as intestate succession. Pennsylvania has established general inheritance rights as follows:

  • Children get everything if the deceased was not married but had children
  • Spouse gets everything if the deceased had a spouse but no dependents
  • Parents get everything if the deceased person was not married and had no children
  • Siblings get everything if the deceased person has no surviving parents, children or spouse

When the deceased and his or her spouse share children together, the spouse will receive the first $30,000 from the estate. Then, the children will share half the remaining assets and the spouse will get the other half. This scenario also applies when the deceased person has a spouse and living parents, but no children.

Intestate succession is more complicated when the person had more than one spouse and children from each marriage. Having a detailed estate plan can help ensure that the court follows the deceased person’s wishes.