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. Start My Estate Plan

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. Start My Estate Plan
Kentucky Heir Law Concerning Grandchildren

References

Related articles

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.

Virginia Requirements for a Last Will & Testament

To ensure your property is distributed to your friends and family the way that you intend, consider drafting a last will and testament. A will, also referred to as a testament, is a written document that describes how you want your property distributed upon your death. The document is referred to as your last will and testament because it is the last document of its kind you draft before your death. In Virginia, there are several things you must complete before a court will recognize your will as valid.

How to Prepare Your Own Will & Beneficiary Deed in Missouri

A will is a legal instrument that tells the probate court how to distribute your assets after you die. Because the probate process often involves considerable expense and delay, Missouri law authorizes real property owners to execute a beneficiary deed, which allows someone to transfer real property to his heirs after his death without having to submit the property to probate. Both wills and beneficiary deeds must be drafted in particular ways to be enforced. Nevertheless, if your estate is small, you can prepare both a will and a beneficiary deed without the assistance of an attorney.

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

Related articles

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. ...

How Is Property Divided Equally With a Will in Place?

Often, it is not possible to divide an entire life's worth of property equally between two or more people, but you can ...

How to Execute a Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament is a document used to distribute the property after the property owner dies. The person who ...

What Is a Universal Heir?

Creating a will gives you the opportunity to dictate who gets what after you die. After paying off your debts, the ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED