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Heritage Tree LogoWhat is Probate in Pennsylvania?

The probate process can seem quite daunting, however, our firm is here to make it as easy as possible. Read on, and give us a call today to discuss your case with our skilled Butler County estate & trust administration attorneys.

What is probate?

Once an individual passes away, a legal process, commonly referred to as probate happens. First, the decedent’s will is submitted to the Register of Wills/Orphans’ Court in order for the heirs of that individual to legally obtain their inheritance according to the terms of the will.

If you have additional questions concerning probate, keep reading and give our firm a call today to speak with one of our experienced Butler County probate attorneys.

How does the probate process work?

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

Keep in mind 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 chosen. Regardless of either circumstance, the administrator or executor will be required to go to the courthouse and appear before the Register of Wills to be sworn in. This step will provide the executor authority to handle the assets and distribute them while obliging by the terms of the will. If there is no will, the laws of intestacy will apply.

How long will the probate process take?

In most situations, the probate process will take about a year and a half from the date of a loved one’s death to be done in Pennsylvania. However, in cases where there are more complicated issues concerned in the estate or special family dynamics, this process can take even more time. The assets will be determined and documented on the inheritance tax return which will be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. The estate will also be announced in the local paper to allow creditors of the state to ensure that there are no unpaid bills or debt.

Once 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. Contact our firm today to begin this process with our skilled legal team.


Whether you are dealing with matters involving estate planning, estate administration, or elder law, you need a legal team you can feel confident will represent your best interests, every step of the way. We are that legal team. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning today so we can get started.

Estate Planning & Probate

Whether you’re looking to secure your family’s future, protect a loved one’s assets or provide a loved one with the financial assistance he or she needs to afford long-term care, we are committed to serving your needs. We consistently offer creative and effective solutions to your most complex and sensitive estate planning needs and help your wishes come to fruition through our probate service.

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Elder Law, Medicaid Planning & Asset Protection

Everybody’s life is full of both expected and unexpected challenges. With our experience with elder law issues, we can help you enjoy the later years and retain full control over decisions that directly impact you. The attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning view every challenge as an opportunity. We can help you or your loved one today.

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