Who can petition to be appointed Administrator if there is no will?

If a decedent dies without a will (i.e., intestate), the Register of Wills will select someone to serve as Administrator of the estate. Each state has laws that outline who may serve as Administrator of an intestate estate. Pennsylvania law (known as the PEF Code) allows the following individuals in the following order to be appointed Administrator of an estate: 1) the decedent’s surviving spouse; 2) the decedent’s issue (e.g., children and grandchildren); 3) the decedent’s parents; 4) the decedent’s siblings; 5) the decedent’s grandparents; and 6) other interested parties such as the decedent’s creditors. Keep in mind that when multiple people have an equal right to serve as Administrator that those who do not wish to serve can execute a renunciation in support of someone else being appointed Administrator. If necessary, the Register of Wills may conduct hearings to determine who should be appointed.