PUBLIC LAWS-CH. 244-JUNE 24, 1949 there be no spouse or minor children surviving, if the person entitled to be preferred in the appointment of an administrator files in the Filing of petition. probate court a petition, under oath, declaring: The time and place of decedent's death; the known next of kin; that diligent search has been made for a will; the known creditors, together with the amount of each claim, including contingent and disputed claims; and funeral expenses; the known assets and by whom held. that petitioner has made a diligent search to discover all assets and debts of the deceased; that said assets do not exceed $500 in value; and that there are no known legal proceedings pending in which the decedent is a party; the probate court, if satisfied that the allegations in said petition are true, shall pass a preliminary order declaring that no formal adminis- tration is necessary and instructing the petitioner to publish once in substantially the usual form notice to creditors to exhibit their claims duly authenticated, within thirty days after such notice, and which notice shall be inserted in one newspaper of general circulation in the District of Columbia as said court shall direct. Distribution of es "(2) Whenever such a preliminary order has been passed and the tat. notice has been published and the time provided in such notice has expired, the petitioner shall file, under oath, a statement, with the usual proof of publication attached, that the notice has been published, and that the said time has expired, and listing all then known creditors, including contingent and disputed claims, and the amount of each claim. If satisfied that said statement is true, and after hearing and disposing of any objections filed in the probate court by anyone inter- ested in the estate, the probate court shall pass a final order (1) direct- ing the petitioner to pay from the estate all of said claims, in the order of priority provided by law, and (2) authorizing any person having possession of any property of the decedent's estate to transfer, pay over, and deliver the same in accordance with petitioner's direc- tions, and (3) decreeing that, after the Register of Wills certifies upon said final order that he has seen the vouchers for the payment of said claims and is satisfied that said claims, as well as the fees hereinafter provided for, have been paid, then the remaining balance of the estate, if any, shall be vested as follows: First, in the adult surviving chil- dren equally, and, secondly, if there be no adult surviving children, then in those persons who would be entitled thereto under the statute of distributions (the share of any minor shall be payable, in the dis- cretion of the probate court, to the person having custody or to such other person as it shall designate, to be used solely for the care and maintenance of such minor). sale o property. "(3) The probate court may also provide in its final order for sale of any property, upon such terms as it deems advisable, and for the distribution of the proceeds in accordance with its final order. Nonliability. "(d) In the absence of fraud, no person who pays over, transfers, or delivers any property pursuant to the provisions of a final order entered under section 394 (b), or to the directions of a petitioner acting under authority of a final order under section 394 (c), shall be liable for the application thereof, nor shall any such person, nor any person who receives any property pursuant to the provisions of a final order entered under section 394 (b), or to the directions of a petitioner acting under authority of a final order under section 394 (c), be responsible for any claims on account of the payment, transfer, delivery, or receipt of such property; and the property distributed pursuant to a final order in either case shall be and become the absolute property of the respective distributees thereof. "(e) No petitioner under this Act shall be required to be repre- sented by an attorney, or to give bond, nor receive any commission for performing any work or services hereunder. 270 [63 STAT.