Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament (or “will”) names individuals or organizations who should receive assets owned by a person when that person dies. A will is a “naming document” which names who will receive the assets and who will be the person responsible for handling the administration of the estate, including payment of all taxes, debts and distribution to those entitled to share in the estate. More importantly, a will can also name a guardian for minor children.

Pennsylvania requires certain formalities for a will:

  • The will must be signed and should be dated by the person creating it (the “testator”).
  • The testator should sign in the presence of two witnesses with each witness understanding the document is the testator’s will.
  • Each should sign in the presence of the other.
  • Witnesses should not be individuals who have an interest in the will such as the testator’s spouse, child or grandchild or someone receiving assets under the will.

Failure to have a legal will means that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will determine who receives your assets.

At Sykes Elder Law in Pittsburgh, we tailor your last will and testament to your individual circumstances and help you address potential problems or troublesome issues. We do this consistent with an asset review, including how your assets are titled and how you designate beneficiaries. In larger estates, we emphasize saving federal estate taxes. With all clients, we use our experience writing wills in Pittsburgh to help see that your will achieves your wishes and makes estate administration easier for your loved ones.

Contact us at our Pittsburgh, PA offices about having a last will and testament created for you.

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