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(a) Distributions due absentees.--
(1) If the continued existence or whereabouts of an heir, devisee or legatee who once existed cannot be ascertained at the time of the audit of the personal representative's account, the court, unless it finds pursuant to section 5701 (relating to proof of death) that the absentee's death has disqualified him as a distributee of the estate, or unless a trustee has been appointed for such absentee pursuant to section 5702 (relating to trustee for absentee), shall direct that any property distributable to the absentee shall be converted into money that shall be paid into the State Treasury, through the Department of Revenue. The moneys shall be held in a custodial capacity subject to refund, without appropriation, pursuant to section 24 of Article III of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
(2) The court shall retain jurisdiction with respect to any claim to such moneys. Upon further findings and order of court that a claimant is entitled to all or a part of the moneys, the Department of Revenue, upon petition, shall refund such moneys pursuant to the order of court.
(b) Possibility of additional distributees.--If the existence of a person or persons would affect the distribution of an estate but there is no proof that such a person ever existed, and the court is satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to determine whether such a person existed, the court may award distribution of the estate to those who would be entitled if no such person existed, with or without refunding bonds. Any such bond shall be without security, shall be in such form and amount as the court directs, shall be executed by each distributee and filed with the clerk, and shall provide that if, within seven years or any shorter period fixed by the court, it is later established that there is an additional person or persons entitled to share in the distribution of the estate, the distributee upon demand will return such portion or all of the property received by him as the court may direct or, if it has been disposed of, will make such restitution as the court deems equitable. In the case of distribution under this subsection to the Commonwealth as intestate heir, in lieu of bond, payment shall be as provided in subsection (a).
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 20 Pa.C.S.A. Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries § 3540. Absentee and additional distributees - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/pa/title-20-pacsa-decedents-estates-and-fiduciaries/pa-csa-sect-20-3540.html
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