Western PA's Premier Estate Administration & Estate Planning Law Firm


We strive to make the process of estate planning and estate administration as simple and straightforward as possible. At American Wills and Estates we speak to our clients in plain English, and we are sensitive to the fact that many of our clients are still grieving the loss of a loved one. Our number one goal is to put our clients at ease and to reassure them with competency and compassion in their times of need.


    If you assume that you don’t have any assets, you could be making the mistake of skipping out on an estate plan entirely. An estate plan is one of the most important collections of documents that you will have and there are many reasons why.

    Every person has an estate with very few exceptions.  Even a young child who has a custodial account in his... Read More

  • The Duties and Obligations that await the Executor

    So you've been named as an Executor.  It's an honor, but it's also a job.  I came across this very interesting blog that lays out the duties and responsibilities that await an Executor and the many pitfalls that need to be avoided.

    Do You Really Want to be an Executor?

    By Charles Wagner and Rachael Kwan | Blogs, Estate Law, Executors / Trustees |... Read More

  • Estate Planning is Important at Any Age

    There’s a tendency to think that Estate Planning in Pennsylvania is only for those at or near retirement age. This is based on the premise that estate planning is only for outlining what happens to your belongings after you pass away, but it’s just as important that you plan for your life as it is your death.

    A sudden disability, illness, or... Read More

  • Another Celebrity Estate Planning Failure

    Another celebrity faulty estate planning nightmare is in the works. How can someone be worth millions of dollars and not have done a Last Will and Testament at some point. This should be a cautionary tale for all of you out there who keep procrastinating about having a basic estate plan prepared. At our law firm, we have been assisting clients throughout... Read More

  • Basic Estate Planning Documents Explained


    Most basic estate plans consist of a Last Will and Testament, a Durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will.  Here's a handy little graphic that we've put together that provides a simple breakdown and description of what each of these documents is and how they can work together to give your family the peace of mind that having and effective estate plan can... Read More
  • Proudly addressing all of our clients Probate and Estate Planning Needs for over 25 Years

    2018 Resolution: Give Your Estate Plan A Checkup

    1. Anticipate a time when you may not be able to think or act for yourself. Rapid advancements in medical science and healthcare may enable us all to live longer, fuller lives, but the flip side to that is that many more of us are likely, at some point in our lives, to suffer from a diminished mental state–a harsh reality that’s often difficult to accept.  ... Read More
  • Ten Common Estate Planning Errors

    Here is list of 10 common estate planning errors that people often make. An eleventh mistake, and perhaps the worst mistake of all, is to have no estate plan at all!

    1. Improper use of jointly held property.

    Owning everything jointly makes the provisions of one's Last Will and Testament null and void. Namely, property held jointly with the right... Read More

  • Avoiding the 5 Most Common Reasons For Not Having an Estate Plan.

    As attorneys who have practiced exclusively in the areas of estate planning and probate estate administration for the past twenty years we have heard people make every excuse why they do not need to take the time to put an effective estate plan in place. Here are five of the most common excuses we hear:

    1. I don’t have enough assets for it to matter... Read More
  • Types of Ownership: Do You Know The Difference?

    There are three basic ways that property is typically titled: in an individual’s name alone, in joint names with one or more other parties, and by or through certain designated contractual rights. Whether or not a particular asset or piece of property that you own at the time of your death will have to pass through probate will often depend entirely upon... Read More

  • 8 Considerations To Make Before Choosing A Guardian

    If you have a minor child or multiple children, you need to make sure that you have appointed, in writing, someone who would raise and take care of them as a guardian in the event that both you and your spouse would be killed in an accident, or should both die before they have reached adulthood.

    As you begin to list and evaluate your candidates as... Read More

  • Why is Estate Planning Important?

    Anyone who owns or has anything has an estate. Your estate might include a home, cars, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, retirement plans, business interests, furniture and other miscellaneous personal goods and household effects.

    What happens to your estate—when you die, or if you become incapacitated physically or... Read More
  • 6 Steps To Preparing An Estate Plan at American Wills & Estates

    At AW&E, we have developed a streamlined and manageable process for estate planning that helps our clients overcome procrastination.

    Stage One: Initial Meeting

    You will have a free initial legal consultation with an AW&E attorney (with optional additional meetings, if necessary, also at no charge). Here we learn basic information about you... Read More

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Pittsburgh Probate Estate Administration and Estate Planning Lawyers