The Probate process itself is a relatively simple procedure, but it is merely the beginning of the Estate Administration process, which involves settling a decedent’s affairs, and can involve many, many other steps, depending on the Probate Estate.
If a Will exists, it is formally accepted for Probate and Letters Testamentary are issued to the Executor named in the Will. If no Will exists, or no named Executor is available, Letters of Administration are granted to an Administrator.
The most common misconception that surrounds a Will is the process called “Probate” and the seemingly universal theme that it should be avoided at all costs. Again, and virtually to the contrary, the word “Probate” is merely the Latin infinitive verb that means “to prove.” Nothing more!
The Probate procedure in Pennsylvania is far simpler than in most states, and merely involves presenting a Will, a Death Certificate, a brief Probate Petition, and a check for payment of the nominal Probate Fees.
Although some states do have onerous Probate procedures (where the avoidance of Probate may be a prudent strategy), Pennsylvania is not one of those states.
In fact, Pennsylvania is very “Probate-Friendly.”