Deadlines And Timelines In Pennsylvania Probate

What Are the Deadlines And Timelines In Pennsylvania Probate?

Key deadlines and timelines in Pennsylvania probate include:

  • Notice of estate administration: within 3 months after grant of letters
  • Challenge to probate of a will: appeal within 1 year of decree; can be limited to 3 months upon petition
  • Surviving spouse’s elective share election: Within 6 months of death or within 6 months after date of probate, whichever is later
  • Accounting: any time after 4 months from first complete advertisement of original grant of letters

 

For a downloadable pdf of the Pennsylvania probate deadlines and timelines guide, click Pennsylvania Probate Deadlines and Timelines.

TYPE OF FILING

DEADLINES

Authority

 

 

 

Notice of estate administration

Within 3 months after grant of letters

Pa. O.C. Rule 10.5(a)

Certification of notice

Within 10 days after giving notice of estate administration

Pa. O.C. Rule 10.5(d)

Service of citation to obtain jurisdiction of person

Within 6 months of order awarding citation, when no other time is specially fixed; must be served at least 20 days before responsive pleading due, in same manner as service of original process (if not to obtain original jurisdiction, serve by mail)

20 Pa. C.S. §765 /

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.5(3)-(4)

Filing and service of responsive pleading to citation or petition initiating proceeding

Within 20 days of date of notice or filing, whichever later (party residing out of country has 60 days); or on or before date certain in citation

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.7(a) / 20 Pa. C.S. §764

Filing of responsive pleadings to subsequent pleadings

Within 20 days after service of the preceding pleading

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.7(d)

Amended pleading after preliminary objections

Within 20 days after service of preliminary objections without consent of other parties and without leave of court

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.9(d)(1)

Answer after preliminary objections overruled

Within 20 days of order overruling preliminary objections

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.9(e)(1)

Amended petition

Within 20 days after entry of order concerning such amended petition

Pa. O.C. Rule 3.9(e)(2)

Demand for trial by jury

At least 10 days prior to the initial hearing before the orphans’ court division; if initial hearing dispensed with, at least 10 days prior to trial

20 Pa. C.S. §777(d)

Filing of caveat bond

Within 10 days after filing of petition for probate or grant of letters, or after filing of caveat, whichever is later

20 Pa. C.S. §906(a)

Challenge to probate of will

Appeal within 1 year of decree; court may limit time to 3 months upon petition of party in interest

20 Pa. C.S. §908(a)

Appeal bond

Within 10 days of final applicable order

20 Pa. C.S. §908(b)

Spouse’s election to take or not take elective share

Before expiration of 6 months after decedent’s death or before expiration of 6 months after date of probate, whichever is later

20 Pa. C.S. §2210(b)

Petition for extension of time to take election

Prior to expiration of 6 months as provided in 20 Pa. C.S. §2210

Pa. O.C. Rule 5.4(b)

Proceeding to interpret formula clause for federal tax purposes

Within 12 months following death of decedent

20 Pa. C.S. §2803(b)

Payment of life insurance payable to estate less than $11,000

After 60 days following death, insurance company may pay all or part of that amount to spouse, child, parent, or sibling if no written claim received

20 Pa. C.S. §3101(d)

Petition to revoke distribution decree – small estate

Within 1 year after decree of distribution made

20 Pa. C.S. §3102

Opening of probate record to receive proof of later will or codicil

If later will submitted within 3 months of testator’s death but after register probated earlier instrument, with at least 10 days’ notice to petitioner who presented probated instrument

20 Pa. C.S. §3138

Granting of letters

Not after expiration of 21 years from decedent’s death, unless cause shown

20 Pa. C.S. §3152

Issuance of letters to principal creditors, other fit persons, or redevelopment authority

Not until 30 days after decedent’s death

20 Pa. C.S. §3155(c)

Inventory

No later than date account filed or due date for filing of inheritance tax return, whichever is earlier; if filing requested on earlier date, within 3 months after appointment of personal representative or within 30 days after request, whichever is later

20 Pa. C.S. §3301(c)

Supplemental Inventory

Within 30 days of discovery of additional property

20 Pa. C.S. §3303

Notice of continuation of business

Within 5 days after order authorizing personal representative to continue any business of estate for benefit of estate, if prior notice not given

20 Pa. C.S. §3314

Notice of devise or bequest to corporation or association

Within 3 months after grant of letters

20 Pa. C.S. §3330

Deadline to appoint personal representative after suggestion of death

Within 1 year after suggestion of death filed

20 Pa. C.S. §3375

Limitations against debt due estate

Until end of 1 year following decedent’s death

20 Pa. C.S. §3376

Judgments which are liens at death

Bind real estate for 5 years from inception or last revival of lien or for 1 year from decedent’s death

20 Pa. C.S. §3382

Statute of limitations for claims not barred at death

Not barred until expiration of 1 year after death

20 Pa. C.S. §3383

Notice after settlor of revocable trust has died

No later than 30 days after date on which trustee learns personal representative has been appointed

20 Pa. C.S. §3384.1

Limitation upon claims

Claims against decedent unenforceable after 1 year from death against bona fide grantee or holder

20 Pa. C.S. §3385

Notice to Commonwealth and political subdivisions with claim for maintaining decedent

Within 3 months after grant of letters

20 Pa. C.S. §3393

Accounting

Any time after 4 months from first complete advertisement of original grant of letters; may be cited to file any time after expiration of 6 months from first advertisement

20 Pa. C.S. §3501

Petition to review final confirmation of account

Within 5 years after final confirmation

20 Pa. C.S. §3521

Petition with annexed account – Estates not exceeding $50,000

After expiration of 1 year from date of first complete advertisement of the grant of letters

20 Pa. C.S. §3531

Rights of claimants against personal representative and distributed property

If claim known within 1 year after first complete advertisement of grant of letters; with respect to real property, if notice filed within 1 year of death – claim expires at end of 5 years after death

20 Pa. C.S. §3532

Notice of claim

Within 60 days of mailing or delivery of demand to make claim or within 1 year from first complete advertisement of grant of letters, whichever is later

20 Pa. C.S. §3532(b.1)

Petition to establish title to real estate

1 year after death if no letters have been granted; or within 6 years of death if personal representative has been appointed but has not filed account

20 Pa. C.S. §3546

Custodian compliance with request regarding digital assets

Not later than 60 days after receipt of information required under Digital Assets act

20 Pa. C.S. §3916

Application for order directing custodian compliance

After 60 days has passed with no compliance from custodian

20 Pa. C.S. §3916

Powers of foreign fiduciary

Not exercisable in Commonwealth for 1 month after decedent’s death

20 Pa. C.S. §4101

Presumption of death from absence

7 years after last heard of (if exposure to specific peril, less than 7 years upon sufficient finding)

20 Pa. C.S. §5701(b)-(c)

Appointment of trustee for absentee

After 1 year of absence

20 Pa. C.S. §5702

Notice of account filing

Mailed at least 20 days prior to audit in counties with Orphans’ Court Division or 20 days prior to date objection must be filed in all other counties

Pa. O.C. Rule 2.5(d)

Answers to objections, preliminary objections to objections, and answers to preliminary objections

Within 20 days after service of applicable preceding pleading

Pa. O.C. Rule 2.8(c)

Notice to Attorney General – charitable interest

At least 20 days in advance of proceeding involving or affecting charitable interest

Pa. O.C. Rule 4.4(a)

Filing of original document

Within 14 days of service of notice to file original

Pa. O.C. Rule 4.7(b)

Auditor or Master report

Within 90 days after appointment

Pa. O.C. Rule 9.2

Status Report by Personal Representative

If administration not completed within 2 years of decedent’s death, file status report at that time, and annually thereafter

Pa. O.C. Rule 10.6

Download Pennsylvania Probate Deadlines and Timelines.

The Pennsylvania Probate Estates and Fiduciaries Code can be accessed here

The Supreme Court Orphans’ Court Rules can be accessed here.

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