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Pennsylvania Estate Planning



All adults should have a valid last will and testament (or an alternate estate planning tool, such as a living trust), yet most adults in Pennsylvania don't have a last will. Talk to an estate planning attorney today to learn how you can benefit from a will and other common estate planning tools.

Among the most popular estate planning documents:

  • The last will and testament, which is used to explain how you'd like your assets distributed after your death. A will can also be used to name an executor to manage your estate after your death and to name a guardian to care for your minor children.
  • The living trust, which is an alternate way to distribute your assets after your death. Many people prefer a living trust because it offers greater privacy than a last will and can be a faster way to pass assets onto your beneficiaries.
  • The financial power of attorney, which lets you empower someone else to conduct legal and financial transactions on your behalf. The power of attorney ceases to be effective upon your death.
  • The medical power of attorney, which lets you designate a healthcare surrogate to discuss your treatment with doctors and insurers, and make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
  • The living will, which is used to explain your end-of-life treatment decisions, including whether you'd like to be kept alive by artificial means and whether life-prolonging treatments should be used.

Reasons to Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning can be very simple—or extraordinarily complex. Many people are tempted to go the do-it-yourself route, but an estate planning lawyer can offer invaluable assistance.

You should consider hiring an estate planning attorney because a lawyer:

  • Can help you avoid common mistakes that could invalidate your estate planning document
  • Will help ensure that the language in your estate planning documents conveys your exact wishes and can't be misinterpreted
  • Can suggest techniques that will minimize federal estate taxes and Pennsylvania inheritance taxes
  • Will let you know when estate planning laws have changed and if you need to have new estate planning documents created
  • Can suggest strategies that help you preserve your wealth as you grow older

Find & Hire Local Pennsylvania Estate Planning Attorneys

For help locating estate planning lawyers and probate attorneys in your area, fill out the form on this page or call Attorneys.com at 877-913-7222. Our free lawyer referral service can quickly connect you with lawyers across Pennsylvania, including attorneys in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Allentown.