What is Probate in Pennsylvania?

What is Probate?

Probate is the process through which a deceased person’s assets are transferred and distributed.  In Pennsylvania, it is overseen by the Orphan’s Court in the Court of Common Pleas.  The process begins by bringing a decedent’s Will, if he or she had one, and a certified copy of their death certificate to the Register of Wills in the County where the decedent lived.  The Register of Wills issues “Letters Testamentary” or “Letters of Administration” to the Executor or Administrator of an estate so that they can begin accurately inventorying a decedent’s assets, paying his debts, liquidating his property or securities, and paying inheritance and estate taxes.  Once all money owed to the estate has been collected, and all debts have been paid, the probate process oversees the disbursement of money and belongings to the beneficiaries of the decedent.

While the process is extremely protracted and expensive in some states, Pennsylvania has a relatively inexpensive and streamlined process, comparatively.  As your attorney, we will walk you through the probate process from start to finish – from joining you at the Courthouse to initiate proceedings through assisting you in final distributions of an Estate.


The information within this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own particular situation.