A last will and testament is a legal document that contains the details of a person (testator) relating to their estate in the event of death, created in the form prescribed by law.
It is ordinarily a good idea to make a last will and testament. Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, a will can certainly help your family situation and end up being vital to your close relatives after your passing.
Here, you’ll find a Pennsylvania last will and testament form for download and the tips that will eliminate your slightest uncertainties concerning estate planning, varieties of last will, and the ways to write a sound document.
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|Statutes||Title 20 – Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries; Chapter 25 – Wills|
|Signing requirement||Witnesses are needed only in specific cases||§ 2502. Form and execution of a will|
|Age of testator||18 or older||§ 2501. Who may make a will|
|Age of witnesses||18 or older||§ 2502. Form and execution of a will|
|Self-proving wills||Allowed||§ 3132.1. Self-proved wills|
|Handwritten wills||Recognized if meeting certain conditions||§ 2502. Form and execution of a will|
|Oral wills||Not recognized|
|Holographic wills||Recognized if meeting certain conditions|
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The primary distinction between the two documents is that once you are gone, the agent you assign through power of attorney loses their official authority to take care of any matters on your behalf. Among various power of attorney types, the two following ones are believed to be fundamental:
An executor is someone you have confidence in and assign to make sure the will’s directions are performed. You can name one person to act as an attorney-in-fact and a will executor.
Pennsylvania law affirms that a last will can be valid without having a notary public certify it. But, you could make your last will self-proving by adding an affidavit to the document, and you’ll need to hire a notary if you want to do that.
A holographic will is handwritten. To be effective, the document needs to be wholly in the handwriting of the testator, as well as dated and signed by him or her. But, such wills are generally viewed as a short-term option. You would like to substitute such will with an attested one as early as you can by using an attorney’s support or a fillable template. An accurate and detailed will would be much better for the future probate procedure since holographic wills could include unclear conditions that can easily delay probate and make it more pricey and/or more difficult to put in force.
An attested will is a typewritten document that’s often based upon a fillable form available online or made with the assistance of an attorney. For it to be regarded as valid, it has to be signed by the testator and two credible witnesses older than 18 in the testator’s presence. But, the latter isn’t necessary in Pennsylvania.
The testator has to meet testamentary capacity prerequisites to be able to make and modify their last will, including being of sound mind.
In most states, to write a will, you have to be of sound mind and at least 18 years old. “Sound mind” implies that there is not any kind of psychiatric disorders (dementia, senility, insanity, etc.) that doesn’t let you have a full understanding of the consequences of your actions.
According to Pennsylvania law, you do not need to add a self-proving affidavit to your last will. But, it isn’t a bad choice to include this document. At the time of probate, it would function as an alternative for the witness testimony in court and speed up the procedure.
If you wish to disinherit your marriage partner, you will be able to do it. Pennsylvania is not a community property state. Often called marital property, that is a type of ownership of the assets presented by the systems of law that says that 1/2 of all properties and assets (along with debts) of one spouse is owned by another and stays such upon divorce.
Pennsylvania law allows you to cut your spouse out of your last will completely. However, your marriage partner is admitted of a set minimum number of your assets.
Except for your marriage partner, Pennsylvania law permits you to disinherit any other member of your family. With the addition of certain disinheritance sections to your last will and testament, you will be able to leave out your children (those of 18 years and above) or any other members of the family from obtaining any of your possessions.
No, only you can change your last will. There’s just one situation when a third party is permitted to get involved. If you are physically incapable of signing your last will and testament, a third party is allowed to do it in your stead yet only in your presence.
Yes, it’s possible.
In Pennsylvania, if you haven’t concluded a contract stating the opposite, you can cancel or alter your last will and testament anytime.
It would also be good to amend your last will and testament in such cases:
Pennsylvania law claims that a will can be accepted in case it has been lost or destroyed. However, the probate court is not likely to admit anything except for the original of the will to probate.
By Pennsylvania law, the absence of the will can be assumed as its annulment. This implies that the executor will have to prove the will’s credibility, which might be very troublesome.
For holographic last wills, the situation can become much more troublesome since sworn witnesses and testimony will be demanded. In addition, you’ll also have to provide evidence of the actual reason why the will and its elements can’t be produced in ways that will show it hasn’t been canceled.
Pennsylvania Estate Code enables another individual to sign your last will and testament just per your directive and in your presence. It’s possible to give a corresponding instruction by several methods. They include verbal communication, a positive answer to an inquiry, or body gestures.
It is possible to have a notary sign the name of a testator who is physically unable to do it if the latter guides the notary with a witness present. It is worth noting that these witnesses can’t have an interest (equitable or legal) in any properties and assets that are the concern or might be influenced by this type of a document (the last will and testament).
|Related documents||When to make it|
|Codicil||Your last will requires one or several minor modifications.|
|Self-proving affidavit||You want to keep from potential difficulties during the probate.|
|Living will||You want to make sure that, if you are incapacitated, you are treated the way you would wish to.|
|Living trust||You want to avoid probate by putting your assets in the possession of a trust.|