The probate process in Pennsylvania | What to know

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The probate process can be complex and overwhelming. However, with the help of one of our experienced Montgomery County, PA probate attorneys, you can feel more comfortable and confident. Reach out to our firm today to get started. We looking forward to hearing from you.

What is probate?

After a person passes away, a legal process, commonly referred to as probate occurs. First, the decedent’s will is presented to the Register of Wills/Orphans’ Court in order for the heirs of that individual to legally receive their inheritance in accordance with the terms of the will.

If you have further questions regarding probate, continue reading and give our firm a call today to speak with one of our experienced Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys.

How does the probate process work?

As a client going through the probate process, you will meet with one of our attorneys to discuss the process of administering the estate. You will also confer about what assets your loved one owes and which forms you will need to file with the court.

Recognize that there must be an appointed executor if there is a will present. If there is no will, an administrator of the estate will need to be selected. Despite either circumstance, the administrator or executor will be directed to go to the courthouse and appear before the Register of Wills to be sworn in. This action will supply the executor with the power to handle the assets and distribute them while remaining by the terms of the will. If there is no will, the laws of intestacy will apply.

How long does the probate process take?

Most of the time, the probate process will take about a year and a half from the date of a loved one’s death to be complete in Pennsylvania. However, in cases where there are more complex issues involved in the estate or special family dynamics, this process can take even more time. The assets will be specified and documented on the inheritance tax return which will be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. The estate will also be reported in the local paper to allow creditors of the state to make sure that there are no unpaid bills or debt.

After the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue reviews and accepts the inheritance tax return, which can take between 6 and 9 months, an attorney will work with the executor or administrator to close out the estate and make sure that the heirs receive their proper inheritance. Reach out to our firm today to start this process with our skilled legal team.


Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. Contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.

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