When putting together your estate plan, an estate planning lawyer in Allentown, PA will work with you to also draft a will that specifies how you want your estate to be distributed. This process can sometimes feel intimidating but understanding the process can help you feel more comfortable about the decisions you are making.
Although you may employ other estate planning tools to determine which of your assets go to heirs, such as a living trust, there may still be some items that are not addressed in any of these other documents. A will ensure that you have the final say in how these items and/or assets will be distributed. You will also appoint someone as the executor of your estate who will also ensure that your wishes are met.
If you have minor children, the most critical item that may be contained in your will is who you want to be appointed as your child’s legal guardian. As an Allentown, PA estate planning lawyer can explain, without a will, Pennsylvania intestacy laws will determine how your estate will be distributed and that could end up being totally different than what your wishes would have been.
Under the law, there are certain individuals who may have legal standing to contest a decedent’s will. While the estate is being probated, they can file their objection to the will, citing the reason or reasons why they think the will is invalid.
In order for a will to be considered valid, the person who writes the will be at least 18 years of age and they must be of sound mind. Pennsylvania law says that a sound mind means the person writing the will is mentally competent and they fully understand what assets and property they own and who they are leaving these
Possessing a sound mind means that the testator is mentally competent and fully understands what assets and property they own and to who they are conveying these assets and property.
In addition to the above requirements, the will must have also have the person’s signature on the bottom. There must also be a witness to that person’s signature. There are also a number of requirements if the person who is writing the will becomes ill and is unable to but does instruct another person to do so for them.
While handwritten wills are allowed under Pennsylvania law, they are discouraged because of the incidents of errors and misperceived intentions of the person writing the will.
If you would like to learn more about putting together an estate plan or your plan needs updating, contact an estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA from Klenk Law, schedule an appointment, and find out how we can help.
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