Success Stories

Promised Inheritance but No Will


The Chester County-based client had built his home where he and his family lived for over 30 years on land owned by a non-blood relative, who had promised that parcel of land to him as a gift of inheritance. However, upon the passing of the landowner, the Will could not be located. Further complicating matters was the fact that a creditor of the estate moved to become an administrator and attempted to eject the individual and his family from their own home.


Because our client was not a blood relative of the landowner who had passed, and because the will of the deceased was not where it was purported to have been stored, the estate would have to be administered as an Intestate Estate, which means the distribution of the deceased's assets would become the responsibility of a probate court. Our client had no proof of the inheritance promised.


From our extensive experience across several areas of Estate, real estate, and title work, we felt confident that a Quiet Title action would be a critical effort as part of a two-pronged approach. We prepared and filed two claims with the Court: the foremost was a Quiet Title action for the land, arguing “parol gift” of land from the deceased landowner to the client as our client had possession of the gifted land by the donor and with the donor’s consent. Further, we argued how else could our client have built a home on the land and lived there for 30 years without the landowner’s gifting it.” Secondly, we filed claims against the Estate for various improvements and services the client had performed for the benefit of the deceased landowner.

The second was a filing challenging the Administrator of the Estate, based on alleged failures of the Administrator to properly administer the Estate. The two claims were consolidated and heard together in Orphans Court.


Our client was awarded a settlement of more than one-million dollars ($1,000,000.00) in both cash and property, and title to the smaller parcel of land where his home was located through a settlement with the Intestate Estate.