A will contest in Pennsylvania can take two basic forms. The first requires the contestant to file a caveat with the Register of Wills before the will enters probate. The second is an appeal from probate.
When someone dies in Pennsylvania, the will must be probated. The probate process is a court process. All assets are inventoried and all debts and taxes paid before the remaining property is distributed to the beneficiaries of the will.
If a potential beneficiary wishes to contest the will before it enters probate, she must file a caveat with the Register of Wills before the will has been accepted for probate. If the caveat is filed in a timely fashion, the contestant is granted a hearing before the Register prior to the will entering probate.
Appeal from Probate
If the will has already been accepted for probate, the contestant must wait until the probate procedure terminates. At that point, the contestant may file an appeal from probate up to one year after the decision in the probate court.
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