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Firm Name Over 75 years of experience
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Pike County Wills Attorney

Each state has its own laws on what constitutes a legally binding will. No matter how well drafted a will is, there are no wills that are not “uncontestable”. An interested party may contest just about any will. The question is: Will that will hold up?The shortest will in recorded history was just three words long. Actually, since the will was written in Czech, it was only two words long. It read “Vse zene”, meaning “all to wife”. It was written by a farmer in Germany who had become trapped under his farming equipment. Knowing he was going to die, he wanted to ensure his assets made it to the right person. In this case, it was his wife.

While most folks nowadays prepare for the inevitable, wills such as the one described above, which is known as a holographic will, can hold up in a court of law. Generally, however, they require at least two witnesses.The Pike County wills attorneys at Farley & Bernathy LLC can help you draft a will and set up a trust in order to distribute your assets after you pass. That being said, it is important to understand what makes a will legal and the difference between a will and a trust.

What Happens if I Don’t Have a Will?

If you don’t have a will, your estate is distributed in accord with the laws of intestate succession. Intestate succession is basically an algorithm that distributes your assets in accord with formal rules that are determined by the state. Since the state generally assumes that you will pass your assets to those in your family, it is your family who has a legal claim to your assets. If you wish to pass your assets to a friend or control exactly who gets what, you will need a will to avoid intestate succession.

What Makes a Will Legal in Pennsylvania?

While the rules regarding will are determined at the state level, almost all state rules are more or less the same. In Pennsylvania, a will is considered valid if the individual who drafted it, known as the testator, is of sound mind at the time of drafting the will. The testator must be over the age of 18 and there must be at least two witnesses present at the time the will is drafted. In addition, holographic wills or those handwritten and signed, are not recognized under Pennsylvania law. Oral will are not recognized either.

The best way to ensure that your will will hold up in court is to have it drafted by an estate planning lawyer. The Pike County estate planning lawyers at Farley & Bernathy LLC can help you draft a will that will hold up in court.

What is a Trust?

A trust is a container that holds assets. It is set up by an attorney and can be used for the purpose of estate planning. There are many advantages to using a trust to distribute assets but you will still need a will regardless of whether your assets are distributed with a trust.

Talk to a Polk County Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you need to sit down and plan your estate, the estate planning attorneys at Farley & Bernathy LLC can help go over your options, draft a last will and testament, and set a trust. Give us a call or contact us online for more information.

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