In his will, Mr. Adams left 25% of his estate to
his wife and unevenly divided the balance between his son and his daughter. If the son received $36,000 as his share, what was the total value of the estate?
We know the son receives $36,000, but that does not tell us how much the total was or what percentage of the total that amount is.
There has to be more information. Are you sure that's the whole question?
Part of the technique for handling these is to be able to eliminate the
implausible/imposible solutions so that you are left with a shorter list
of possible candidates, or just one possible answer.