I'm terribly sorry for your loss. The answer to your question will vary by state. Texas, for example, uses a 7-year period the last time I checked. I'm not familiar with I-24, but I presume that it's in Kentucky. Talk it over with a Kentucky attorney to determine if the circumstances surrounding your brother's absence might impact whatever time period Kentucky uses.
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If a police investigation conclusively determines that your brother died in the accident, despite the lack of a body, they may still get the appropriate authority in your area to issue a certificate of death, in which case the estate can likely be submitted to probate immediately. If no certificate of death is issued, however, the only way to probate the estate is through a statute governing presumption of death in cases of absence, discussed above, which most states have and is usually seven years from the person's dissappearance/last known presence in the state.
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