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Heritage Tree LogoCan I Write My Own Will?

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Your last will and testament is arguably the most important document you may incorporate into your estate plan. For this reason, you may want to maintain full control over its writing and its overall establishment. However, without seeking legal advice at one point or another, you may risk it being ultimately invalidated by the Pennsylvania probate court. Please continue reading to learn whether it is acceptable to write your own will and how an experienced Butler County will preparation attorney at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC can step in when necessary.

Is it acceptable to write my own will in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?

The short answer is, yes, it is legally acceptable to write your own last will and testament in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In fact, there are online platforms that allow prospective testators to accomplish just that. At the same time, you are allowed to enforce your will without it being witnessed or notarized.

Even with all this being true, it may still be in your best interest to accept any helping hand that is extended to you. For example, you may still ask for two witnesses to be present at the time you sign your will, along with having them provide their signatures. You may also ask for a notary to be present, who may establish an affidavit to be attached to your will. This is so you may make your will “self-proving.” Meaning that it may be speedily processed, as it may no longer need to be “proven” to the probate court.

What are the potential risks of writing my own will?

In addition to pulling in witnesses and a notary into your will writing process, it is also strongly encouraged to retain the services of an attorney. This is because, simply put, there are many legal implications within a last will and testament that you may not want to overlook, compromise, or otherwise. Without further ado, below are potential risks that may arise when writing your own will:

  • You may forget to name certain beneficiaries to certain assets, leaving the probate court to appoint ownership based on Pennsylvania’s intestate succession order.
  • You may forget to appoint a guardian for your minor beneficiary, leaving the probate court to appoint one or leaving a family member to petition for this responsibility.
  • You may forget to grant your executor permission to sell your property, leaving your executor with having to undergo additional legal processes or pay additional legal fees.
  • You may forget to leave instructions regarding your business, leaving its continued operations at a standstill and overall leaving your business assets in jeopardy.

The best way to ensure the validity of your estate plan is to retain the services of one of the skilled Butler County estate planning attorneys. So do not hesitate to get in touch with Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC today.

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