The Orphans' Court has jurisdiction over estates, which often involve giving control over another person's property. The Orphans' Court may receive filings in a decedents' estate, an incapacitated persons estate or a minor's estate. A decedent's estate may have distribution or inheritance issues to settle. Many of those cases are brought before the Judge for Audit by filing an accounting with the court to ensure all financial duties were properly met. A guardianship case puts a third party in charge of a living person and/or their property. Any time a minor is due money, whether through inheritance or settlement, their estate can be processed through the Orphans' Court.
An audit confirmation date is assigned based on when the accounting was filed. Filings are presented to the Judge who will review the matter and issue the Adjudication of the Estate or set a hearing if needed to resolve any issues.
Petition for Guardianship of a Minor
A petition for guardianship of a minor is filed in Orphans' Court. A hearing date is assigned. If the petition is granted a final decree is signed and a guardian is appointed by the Judge. In cases where the minor is awarded money, the minor must have a guardian appointed by the Court to ensure proper handling of the minor's estate.
Petition for Guardianship of an Alleged Incapacitated Adult
A petition for guardianship of an alleged incapacitated adult is filed in the Orphans' Court. A hearing date is assigned and a citation is issued. If petition is granted a final decree is signed appointing a guardian by a Judge and is entered into court record. The guardian will be responsible for filing of an Inventory and Annual Reports in Orphans' Court regarding their guardianship.
Please note that due to the sensitive nature of the information in the file, incapacitation matters have been sealed and impounded by the Court. Only an attorney of record, the guardian or the person themselves may access the file. Anyone else must submit a written request for access to the Courts. Statement of Proposed Distribution - Testate
For additional forms see www.pacourts.us