Even if you own nothing more than a house and a couple bank accounts, it’s absolutely essential that you keep and maintain a valid Will or Revocable Living Trust document. Otherwise, you will have no control over how your estate will pass after your death and who will be in charge of same.
I once handled an estate where gentleman passed away who was survived by three children, two of whom he was completely estranged from. He lived with his daughter who took care of him for several years prior to his death and he has constantly advised her that he had a Will and that he was leaving everything to her when he died. Of course, after his death and despite her best efforts his daughter was unable to locate any such Will.
The result of this was that under Pennsylvania law all three of his children had equal standing as his heirs and the two children who he was estranged from ended up inheriting two thirds of his estate. This was most likely not the result that he would have wanted and most certainly not the outcome that his daughter had anticipated, but this is exactly what can happen if you don’t have a valid Will.
Bottom line: Don’t procrastinate until it’s too late. Simple estate planning is not complicated and can typically be accomplished at a very reasonable price. Don’t leave your hard earned legacy up to chance. Take appropriate steps today to ensure that your loved ones are protected and that your wishes are carried out.
At American Wills & Estates we have been guiding clients throughout Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania through both the estate planning and probate estate administration process with competency, compassion and care for over 25 years. Call us today to schedule your free legal consultation, or visit us online at www.americanwillsandestates.com