Estates, Wills and Trusts

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Estate Planning

Making a Will in Pennsylvania (how to make a will in Pennsylvania, and what can happen if you don't).

What am I able to do with a Pennsylvania will?

A will, which can also be called a "last will and testament," can help secure and protect your family and your property. A will allows you to:

  • leave your property to other people or specific organizations
  • designate a personal guardian to take care of your minor children
  • name a trustworthy person to manage property and assets you are leaving behind to minor children
  • designate an executor, who ensures the full terms of your will are carried out.

What if I die without a will?

In Pennsylvania, if you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to state "intestacy" laws. Pennsylvania's intestacy law gives your property to your closest relatives, beginning with your husband or wife and children.

If you don't have a spouse or children, your grandchildren or parents will assume control of your property. The intestacy law continues to list increasingly distant relatives, including siblings, grandparents, aunts & uncles and cousins.

If somehow the court exhausts this list to discover you have no living relatives through blood or marriage, the state can seize your property.

Have More Questions?

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