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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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Person died in 1970. A purported will was typed up by the probate

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Person died in 1970. A purported will was typed up by the probate court and approved by witnesses in Ohio. I have a copy of "the will" There is nothing signed just a typed summary as if there was a written signed will-court documents. In the will two heirs his wife and his son. His wife who applied to the court and had probated will approved in 1970 but that is all there is-legal papers no actual will. There are assets coming to the surface owned by decedent worth a lot of money. He had only $4500 assest declared at death. The asset is mineral rights is in PA. He died in Ohio. No probate was ever filed in PA because the asset was unknown. What do we do since it appears the surviving spouses heirs would get the asset when we know that that was not the intent nor can the probate court to date produced this supposed hand written will. There is even a question of whether they were even married at the time this "purported will" was written.

Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert assisting you today.

In this situation you would make application for ancillary probate as if there were no will in PA.Any other parties would then have to try and seek to admit the will.Based on what you present it is highly unlikely the will would be valid here in PA.This would be a totally different Ancillary Probate and PA laws apply.

In that situation the minerals pass under the PA laws of intestacy to the legal heirs and the court appoints a personal representative.The The PR as part of ancillary probate then deeds the minerals to the legal heirs and in the shares the probate court finds appropriate under the laws of intestacy.

Reference to Ancillary Probate..

PA laws of intestacy.

If you die with:here’s what happens:
  • children but no spouse
  • children inherit everything
  • spouse but no descendants or parents
  • spouse inherits everything
  • spouse and descendants from you and that spouse
  • spouse inherits the first $30,000 of your intestate property, plus 1/2 of the balance
  • your descendants inherit everything else
  • spouse and descendants from you and someone other than that spouse
  • spouse inherits 1/2 of your intestate property
  • descendants inherit everything else
  • spouse and parents
  • spouse inherits the first $30,000 of your intestate property, plus 1/2 of the balance
  • parents inherit remaining intestate property
  • parents but no spouse or descendants
  • parents inherit everything
  • siblings but no spouse, descendants, or parents
  • siblings inherit everything

You would make your application for Ancillary Probate where the minerals are located.You are going to need a local probate lawyer you can locate on here.

The will would likely not be valid under PA law here are those requirements.

I appreciate the chance to assist you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can you call me. Are you familar with PA law



I am familiar with PA law.We can only communicate here through the site.Let me know if you have more follow up.Be happy to respond.


In Pennsylvania you must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind to make a will. Your will must be in writing and signed at the end by the testator. If the testator is unable to sign his or her will, someone else may sign the will for the testator so long as this is done in the testator’s presence and at his or her direction.

In Pennsylvania it is not necessary for the signing of your will to be witnessed by anyone; however it is customary to have at least two people witness the signing of your will.

Pennsylvania does accept self-proved wills. Such a will includes a separate page which is notarized and signed by the testator and witnesses. The purpose is to ensure that upon the death of the testator, the will be accepted as signed and the witnesses to the will will not need to be found.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So a will in ohio years ago without real substance or proof is not valid for transfer of mineral rights in PA when they were unknown at the time-lets say there was a will in Ohio but no mention in the will. Not probated in Pa. Your comments still apply

Each state has there own laws and each state has their own probate proceeding.Here if the minerals are in PA the Ohio court does not have jurisdiction over PA minerals and a second ancillary probate would be required.If you filed for court supervised probate the court if the will is then presented by other relatives would review it to see it it is valid under AP law.

It is possible for a will to be valid in Ohio and yet not for AP here if the will does not mean that states requirements that I gave you above.This situation is very strange not sure how Ohio came to admit it but that does not bind PA since the asset in located in PA.Anytime a will is not valid then the laws of intestacy( no will) then come into play.


You may yet receive a share under laws of intestacy in PA if you are an heir at law.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He died in Ohio 1970. Will is in question even though approved by probate court as if testate leaving to his second wife.. Unknown Mineral rights in PA-(family) surfaced several years ago 2010.He had one son. Sanford. No probate filed in Pa. No mention of any real property in 1970 will. This filing in PA should clear this up if no one objects. Just making sure I understand

Yes here an Ancillary Probate has to be filed in PA.The court decides if the will is valid or not under PA law in the county where the minerals are located.It is very possible that the will here is not valid and that laws of intestacy are then applied by the court.Court would then order the personal representative to deed the minerals to the legal heirs and once that is done any oil payments go straight those persons as would any lease payments, etc.

Anytime there is an asset in another state Ancillary probate has to be filed and heard.

Thanks for the chance to help and good luck here.If you can leave a positive rating it is alwasy much appreciated.
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