How do I know if a will is valid?

When you are planning for the future, one of the most important things you can do is ensure your estate has a valid will. After you pass, wills and trusts are tools that allow you to make the important decisions that will affect your estate when you are gone. Wills and trusts are called testamentary documents. While being proactive about how you want your estate to function when you are gone, testamentary documents can relieve the stress of family members who should focus on healing. A will is an important tool for someone who has a vision of how his or her estate should function after death. If you do not have a will, the court will follow arbitrary guidelines to allocate your estate’s assets. 

Why are wills important?

Some people are fortunate to have accumulated assets that are valuable to them, financially or emotionally.  Some of the many assets that can be:

    • Real estate
    • Bank accounts
    • Securities
    • Items of personality

As you grow older, you may think more and more about who should get what after you pass. A will simply declares your wishes. It will tell your heirs, the people you are leaving behind, how your assets should be distributed. You have accumulated assets over the course of your life. It is important to have control over what happens to those assets after you pass.

Making a valid will

To draft and employ a valid will, you will have to satisfy a few requirements. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires that the testator, or the person who is writing the will, is at least 18 years of age. It is important to note that you, the testator, must be mentally competent when creating a will. A testator is required to declare his or her will in the presence of two witnesses and those witnesses must sign the will in front of the testator. If you satisfy these requirements, you have a binding document that can be filed or probated.

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney

If you need an experienced legal team to help you plan for the future, you can count on Friedman Schuman to compassionately guide you through each step of the process.

Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.