Cranberry Township Wills Lawyer

Most people do not want to take the time to write a will and detail an estate plan. However, ensuring your loved ones are taken care of and knowing how to fulfill your last wishes are essential.

A Cranberry Township wills lawyer could help you gather the critical information to draft the document and provide legal advice throughout the process. We could guide you through the estate planning process and tailor a plan for you and your unique needs and desires. Reach out for an initial meeting with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys today.

Preparing a Last Will and Testament

The Last Will and Testament allows estate planners, also called testators, to name executors to carry out their final wishes and instructions about dividing everything between the selected heirs. When there are minor children, you can also name a legal guardian and a person you trust to manage the money and other property you leave to them. The essential steps for preparing and creating a will include:

  • Make an inventory of all the properties to include in your estate plan
  • List the estate heirs and how the executor should divide the property
  • List a trusted person as guardian if there are minor children
  • Either select the same guardian to manage the property you leave to the children or choose a separate person to act as the executor of their estate until they turn 18
  • Sign the will in front of witnesses as required by the statute
  • Store the state planning documents someplace safe and review and update them as needed

Ensuring compliance with estate laws is also essential, as issues, family disputes, and other problems may lead to litigation in probation court rather than fulfilling your final wishes.

Legal Requirements to Make Wills

Making a will and ensuring validity is one of the most important steps in creating a thorough estate plan. The Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes 20 § 2501 states that the testator must be at least 18 and meet the competency requirements necessary to sign legal contracts or documents.

After drafting the estate planning document, they must announce to two witnesses that it is their will and sign it in front of them. Both witnesses must also sign the document in front of the testator. A Cranberry Township attorney could help you through drafting and signing the will to ensure compliance.

What Happens When People Die Without a Will?

When people die without making a valid will, the estate must undergo a legal procedure called Intestate Succession. The process protects close families by ensuring they receive the property first and divide it based on their relationship with the deceased. The estate assets required to go through the process include:

  • Life insurance proceeds
  • Payable on death bank accounts
  • Real estate and property owned solely, not transferred into a trust
  • Property owned as joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety with one or more parties

A wills lawyer in Cranberry Township could answer questions about the applicable statutes during the consultation.

Connect With a Practiced Wills Attorney in Cranberry Township

After you pass away, your loved ones and the executor you select will need thorough instructions citing your last wishes, including the property division. The document can also include the person you select as guardian for minor children and who will handle the property you leave them.

While the documents are relatively simple, ensuring validity is crucial and prevents problems and disputes between your family after death. Schedule a consultation with a seasoned Cranberry Township wills lawyer to learn more.