Perhaps the most compelling reason to make a Last Will and Testament in Pennsylvania is that you are ensured your exact wishes being carried out upon your death. The execution of a Will is especially necessary for individuals with minor children or disabled dependants, those with specific burial wishes, and individuals with specific estate administration requirements.
If you choose not to execute a will, Pennsylvania has a system of laws for an intestate estate that will provide the framework for distribution. (20 Pa. C.S. §2102, 2103) This distribution may be contrary to your wishes, but without a Pennsylvania will, this is the framework that will be used:
|Married, no surviving children or parents||Spouse receives the entire estate|
|Married, no surviving children but one or more surviving parents||Spouse receives first $30,000.00 plus one half of the estate|
|Married, surviving children of the decedent and spouse||Spouse receives first $30,000.00 plus one half of the estate|
|Married, surviving children of the decedent only||Spouse receives one half of the estate|
|Single, with children||Children receive the entire estate|
|Single, no surviving children but one or more surviving parents||Parent(s) receive the entire estate|
|Single, no surviving children or parents but one or more surviving siblings||Siblings(s) receive the entire estate|
|Single, no surviving children or parents or siblings but one or more surviving grandparents||Grandparent(s) or their descendants receive the entire estate, one-half to each side of the family|
|Single, no surviving children or parents or siblings or surviving grandparents or grandparent’s descendants||Grandparent(s)’s siblings receive the entire estate and their descendants|
If the estate does not meet any of the above criteria, the estate will pass to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Often we associate wills with assets and the division of property or inheritance. While these things are important, executing an estate plan is even more important for individuals with minor children and disabled dependants. Through the execution of a will, trusts can be established to provide financial stability for your loved ones, and a guardian can be nominated to provide the kind of care you desire for those dependants left behind. Making these desires known through your last will and testament is perhaps the most important thing you will leave for your dependants.
Navigating through the estate planning process doesn’t have to be a daunting process. With careful guidance from the attorneys at Knight & Moskow, P.C., family lawyers located in Media, Pennsylvania, an effective estate plan can be established, and all contingencies will be discussed and addressed. This plan could include any, or all, of the following:
• revocable or irrevocable trust
• real estate trusts
• living wills/advanced directives for health care decisions
• durable powers of attorney for financial affairs
• durable powers of attorney for medical affairs
• pet trusts
Depending on your individual requirements and desires, a very specific estate plan can be established for you. It is important to plan as much as possible for the unexpected, however difficult the contemplation of such events may be. A well-prepared estate planning will serve to put ease your mind, and those of your loved ones.
To discuss your family law needs in Delaware County, Chester County, Philadelphia County or Montgomery County, call our office at (610) 565-8210, or contact us via email at email@example.com to schedule a consultation.