One of the most important estate planning documents is a will. Used to leave property to loved ones and others, a will is something that everyone should create – especially those who have dependents, including a spouse or/and children. At the law office of van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, our experienced Reading wills attorneys can help you to create or amend your will. Call us today to learn more.
What Is a Will?
Also called a last will and testament, a will is a legal document that is used to:
- Leave property to your loved ones;
- Leave property and assets to charities and other organizations;
- Name an executor/administrator of your estate;
- Outline how you want property distributed and debts to be paid; and
- Name a guardian for any minor children you have.
What Happens if a Die Without a Will?
One of the most important reasons to create a will is because if you die without a will, your estate will be subject to Pennsylvania’s intestate succession rules. Essentially, this means that your assets will not be distributed per your wishes, but instead per the rules set by the state. The law in Pennsylvania holds that without a will, your property will be distributed to your closest relatives. Your children will inherit everything if you die with children but no spouse; your spouse will inherit everything if you die with a spouse but no children or parents; and if you die with both children and a spouse, your spouse will inherit the first $30,000 of your estate plus one-half of the remaining balance.
Making a Will in Reading, Pennsylvania
Forming a will is actually quite simple, especially when you work with an experienced Reading estate planning lawyer. Most importantly, you will need to properly inventory your assets and debts. From there, as long as you are 18 years of age and of sound mind, you can make a will. After you write your will (which should really be done by an attorney in the vast majority of cases), you must sign your will. There are three important considerations, found in Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 2502, related to signing a will:
- Any words after your signature will not invalidate the words above the signature;
- If you cannot sign your will, you can sign the will with a mark and your written name so long as this is done in the presence of two witnesses; and
- If you can’t sign your name or make your mark, the will can be signed by another on your behalf, so long as you declare this to be your will in the presence of two witnesses.
Call Our Reading Estate Planning Attorneys Today
Writing a will is an important part of planning for your future and ensuring that your property and assets are distributed per your wishes at the time of your death. At the office of van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, our Reading estate planning attorneys are happy to help you plan for and create your will, or amend an existing will. Please call us today to learn more about our experience and our services.