How to update a will in Pennsylvania

There are different ways you can update an existing will. Continue reading and give our firm a call today to discuss the specifics of your estate plan and the best option for you. Our dedicated PA wills, trusts & estates attorneys are on your side. We look forward to hearing from you.

What is the best way to update my will?

There are a number of different ways to update your will. In cases where you only have a few small modifications to make, completing a codicil is a suitable option. A codicil is like a legal “P.S.” to your will. To create a codicil, you write down what you want to remove or add to your existing will, sign it, have two witnesses sign it (as you did with your original will), and then keep it with your will. After your death, your two documents will be read and analyzed together. You can have a lawyer write your codicil for you, or you can make one on your own.

Although, most of the time, it makes more sense just to create a new will entirely. Withdrawing the old will and making a new one will reduce the chance of any confusion that could come from having an add-on to your will. (With a new will, there will be no extra sheets to be lost or misinterpreted.) With the help of a skilled estate planning attorney, a new will can be prepared with ease. If you are uncertain about whether you should start a new will from scratch or add a codicil to your original one, give our firm a call today. Our legal team will be able to guide you in the right direction.

What makes a will valid?

In the state of Pennsylvania, a valid will must be signed. Unlike in other states, Pennsylvania does not require a witness to your will unless you are unable to sign the will on your own. Give our firm a call today if you have any questions about a valid will.

Do I need to retain the services of an attorney to properly write my will?

While the simple answer is no, the more useful and realistic answer is yes. This is because it is important to have an attorney to help you write your will to make sure that it is enforceable and that your wishes are clearly expressed. Although there are free templates that can be used online, anyone with knowledge regarding estate law will recommend you hire an experienced attorney to help you draft your will.


Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. Contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.

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