Wills and Estates
A Will is a written declaration of the desired distribution of your assets following your death. Die without one, and the state decides who gets what, without regard to your wishes or your heirs’ needs. If you die without a Will, the law deems that you have died “intestate”, meaning that you have left no instructions as to how you want your assets to be distributed and by whom. In addition, the court appoints an administrator, who may not be the person of your choice, to distribute your assets. Spouses may not be entitled to all of your assets, and partners without the benefit of marriage, stepchildren, unadopted children and friends are all excluded under Pennsylvania intestacy laws.
A Will enables you to:
> Direct the management and distribution of your assets
> Make gifts to a non-family member such as a partner, friend, stepchild or unadopted child
> Select a person of your choice to manage your Estate (Executor)
> Select for the care of your minor children (Guardian)
> Select a person to handle the financial management of your minor child’s inheritance (Trustee)
> Select the age at which your child receives an inheritance without a trustee
> Distribute your Estate in unequal shares among your children based upon need or other factors
> Make specific gifts of real estate, a business, or personal property such as collectibles, sporting
goods, vehicles, jewelry or family heirlooms to family members or friends
> Make a gift to your favorite charity
Do You Need a Will? Yes!
Here’s Why and How.
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- What is a Financial Power of Attorney?
- Yes You Need a Will: Here’s Why and How
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- When Should You Hire an Elder Law Attorney?
- Joint Bank Accounts. 3 Things You Need to Know
- HB 262 Reduces Inheritance Tax Rate
- Giving Property to Your Kids? Read This First.
- Common Myths About Wills & Estate Planning