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What to Consider in your PA Will

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By Lisa Vari on G+

In the most basic form, a Pennsylvania Will is a way to distribute all of your assets to the persons of your choosing in the event of your death. But, aside from leaving your home and personal belongings to your loved ones, there are many other aspects of Wills that are important to consider.

It’s tough to plan for the future, but trying to account for all types of contingencies makes for a well-drafted and long-standing Will. For example, what if you have more children after your original Will is drafted? Or what if you and your spouse become divorced years after your Will was made providing all of your assets to that spouse?

For starters, although people commonly think that a Will is a place to include designations as to who will receive which articles of your property, a Will is also a place where you can specifically disinherit someone as well. Without having to express your reasons why, you may specifically disinherit someone in your Will, meaning that you specifically name individual(s) that even if they were entitled to a share of your estate because of their familial relationship to you, they will not receive that share as defined in your Will.

Many Testators (creators of Wills) consider the fact that their heirs (or the people receiving under their Will) may fight and battle after that person’s death to get their “fair share.” To prevent this, Pennsylvania law recognizes an In Terrorem Clause in Wills. The purpose of an In Terrorem Clause threatens that if anyone challenges the legality of the Will or anything contained in the Will document itself, that person risks receiving nothing or a very minimal share of the estate instead of the gift that person is given in the Will. This clause is intended to discourage beneficiaries under a Will from challenging the Will and causing a legal battle after the Testator has died.

A Will can also define how the person’s inheritance and estate taxes should be paid. Often these are paid out of the residue of the estate (or what is left over after all else is distributed). Another way to account for inheritance/estate taxes is to include language directing the person who receives assets under the Will to pay these taxes themselves.

A Will is also the place where a person makes decisions regarding funeral expenses, type of burial, and any specific instructions with regard to the person’s body disposal instructions or other specific instructions regarding what the family should do when that person dies.

Talk to an experienced Pittsburgh Wills Attorney to determine what provisions should be in your Will to protect your assets.

Request A Consultation by filling out the form below.

  • Contact Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.
  • Let us make this process easier. Contact us by email below or call 1-844-VARI-LAW (1-844-827-4529) to schedule a confidential consultation.
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Pennsylvania Office Locations

Allegheny County – Main Office

Manor Building, Penthouse Suite
564 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-281-9906
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Washington County:

2400 Ansys Dr., Suite 102
Canonsburg, PA 15317
Phone: 724-436-5500
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Butler County Law Office

2009 Mackenzie Way, Suite 184
Cranberry Township, PA 16066
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Clearfield County Law Office

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114 1/2 S. Second Street
Clearfield, PA 16830
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Allegheny County – Main Office

Manor Building, Penthouse Suite 564 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-281-9906
Get Directions

Washington County Office

2400 Ansys Dr., Suite 102 Canonsburg, PA 15317
Phone: 724-436-5500
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Butler County Law Office

2009 Mackenzie Way, Suite 184 Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Phone: 724-776-9906
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Clearfield County Law Office

Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. 114 1/2 S. Second StreetClearfield, PA 16830
Phone: 814-290-0587
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1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1950
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: 305-222-7351
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