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Heritage Tree LogoWhat You Need to Know About Wills in Pennsylvania

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It is important to plan for the future and protect your legacy. Without a valid will, other people may be able to make decisions about your hard-earned assets for you. Testamentary planning requires special attention to unique circumstances that are specific to you and your family. The estate administration process can be very confusing and overwhelming, but Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC is dedicated to protecting your future. Contact your Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys today to take your next step towards the creation of your will.

What is a will in Pennsylvania?

A last will and testament ensures that surviving family members and friends may follow your wishes when it comes time to distribute your assets. It names who gets your assets as well as who is in control of them. The last will and testament only controls assets that are owned individually and do not have a beneficiary designation.

A will must go through probate, which is aimed to settle disputes. If there is a discrepancy between those inheriting assets through a will, the judge is bound by law to settle the dispute, despite its validity. This means that the government is in control and that the information is public.

What makes a will valid?

In the state of Pennsylvania, a valid will must be signed. Unlike other states, Pennsylvania does not require a witness to your will unless you are unable to sign the will on your own.

Do I need an attorney to write my will?

The short answer is no. However, the more realistic answer is yes. You will need an attorney to help you write your will. Although there are free templates available online, anyone with knowledge regarding estate law will advise you to hire an experienced attorney to help you draft your will.

What happens if I die without a will in Pennsylvania?

Those who have not executed a valid will prior to their passing will have their estate distributed based on Pennsylvania’s laws of intestacy. In other words, your estate will be distributed amongst your closest relatives (i.e. your spouse and children.) If you do not have a spouse or children, your estate will then be distributed to your parents, parents, or other distant relatives. If it is found that there are no distant relatives to inherit your estate, the state of Pennsylvania will obtain your assets.


Whether you are dealing with matters involving estate planning, estate administration, or elder law, you need a legal team that you can feel confident will represent your best interests, every step of the way. We are that legal team. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning today so we can get started.

Estate Planning & Probate

Whether you’re looking to secure your family’s future, protect a loved one’s assets or provide a loved one with the financial assistance he or she needs to afford long-term care, we are committed to serving your needs. We consistently offer creative and effective solutions to your most complex and sensitive estate planning needs and help your wishes come to fruition through our probate service.

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Elder Law, Medicaid Planning & Asset Protection

Everybody’s life is full of both expected and unexpected challenges. With our experience with elder law issues, we can help you enjoy the later years and retain full control over decisions that directly impact you. The attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning view every challenge as an opportunity. We can help you or your loved one today.

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