How to Write a Will in Pennsylvania for Free

By Jeff Franco J.D./M.A./M.B.A.

For your will to be legally enforceable in Pennsylvania, the document must satisfy all state statutory requirements. There is certainly no shortage of attorneys in Pennsylvania who can draft a will that fully complies with state law, but finding one who will draft it for free will be difficult. However, you can write your own will for free if you take the time to gain a solid understanding of the laws.

For your will to be legally enforceable in Pennsylvania, the document must satisfy all state statutory requirements. There is certainly no shortage of attorneys in Pennsylvania who can draft a will that fully complies with state law, but finding one who will draft it for free will be difficult. However, you can write your own will for free if you take the time to gain a solid understanding of the laws.

Step 1

Draft a list of beneficiaries to include in your will. Obtain the full names of each person and organization you want to make a bequest of property to through your will.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now

Step 2

Make a list of your property. Your assets include real estate, financial accounts, vehicles, collectibles and all other personal items, even if they that have more sentimental that monetary value.

Step 3

Write down the property you want to provide each beneficiary. Combine your property and beneficiary lists into one document to allocate the property to each beneficiary. If your intention is for multiple beneficiaries to share a single piece of property, such as a house, note the percent of ownership each beneficiary will receive.

Step 4

Allocate the property you acquire in the future to beneficiaries. Since you don’t know how much or which type of assets you will obtain between the date of drafting the will and the date your estate is distributed, it’s important to decide which beneficiaries will receive all property you acquire in the future. If you intend on including more than one beneficiary, determine the allocation to each one using percentages.

Step 5

Choose a personal representative to administer your estate. Under Pennsylvania law, the personal representative you appoint has the legal right to possess the property in your estate and is also responsible for maintaining and safeguarding it. Therefore, the individual you choose should be someone you trust. You may select a backup executor as well.

Step 6

Draft the final will. At the top of the document, use clear and unambiguous language to state that the document is your last will and testament followed by the information from your preliminary lists, such as each beneficiary’s full name, the current and future property you bequest to them and the name of your personal representative. Most importantly, you must sign your name at the bottom of the document; otherwise, Pennsylvania probate courts can rule that the will is defective and unenforceable.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now
How to List Cash in a Last Will & Testament

References

Related articles

How to Write a Will in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, any person over 18 years old who is mentally fit can make a will. The Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes set forth the provisions for the creation of legally binding wills in the state. Hiring the services of an attorney can help you navigate the state’s will requirements. However, you can also write a will on your own at no cost by carefully following the state guidelines.

How to Write a Will in Nebraska

A will is simply a vehicle for transferring your assets after death. Wills are not appropriate for everyone. For example, trusts are becoming increasingly popular as people’s estates become more complex. If you determine that a will is right for you, Nebraska requirements are fairly simple, but must be followed exactly or your wishes may not be observed after your passing.

How to Make Your Own Will Forms

A will is a document that tells a probate court how to distribute the assets of the person who wrote the will -- known as the testator -- after he dies. A will must be prepared in accordance with state law or it will not be enforced. The laws of the various states differ somewhat on what is required to create a valid will. If your will is declared invalid, your property will be distributed among your relatives in accordance with the state intestacy law.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

What Does a Simple Will Cost?

A “simple will” means different things to different people. If you’re not a legal professional, you ...

How to Write a Will That's Not Expensive

Unless your finances are complex, you may be able to write your own will without the assistance of a lawyer. ...

Drafting Your Will in New Jersey

The first requirement in New Jersey for making a legally valid will is that you must be of sound mind and at least 18 ...

The Pros & Cons of Making a Will

A will is a written legal document that describes how you would like to distribute your property after you die. ...

Browse by category