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.

  • Estate Planning Mistakes

    Estate Planning Mistakes - What Not to Do

    Estate Planning is so important and it doesn't have to be overly complicated, but sometimes mistakes can still be made that will come back and haunt your family long after you're gone. Here's an interesting article that I cam across that highlights six estate planning mistakes that my colleagues have come across in their own practices.

    Take a look... Read More

  • Avoiding Probate

    How Do I Avoid Probate?

    How do I avoid Probate? As you might imagine, that's a question that we are repeatedly asked when setting up estate plans for our clients. While there is no perfect answer to that question, there certainly are steps that can be taken to either avoid the probate process entirely or, at the very least, minimize the impact that it might have on your family... Read More

  • Probate Help

    5 Steps to Take Following the Loss of a Loved One

    Losing a loved one is never easy. Yet, despite the emotional loss and great sadness, there are many things that still need to happen and get done. Here's an article that I came across in USA Today that lists five (5) important things that need to happen shortly after someone's death. Take a read and I hope you find the article helpful.

    If you or a... Read More

  • Estate Planning Mistakes

    Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes: The James Dean Estate

    To be sure, estate planning can be a rather dry and uninviting subject. However, when related to a late celebrity and the mistakes they may have made, it often becomes much more interesting. Here's a piece on the James Dean estate battles that arose after his death.

    Don't be a rebel without a cause, take steps today to protect your family and your... Read More

  • Trusts and Estate Planning

    The Unfunded or Underfunded Revocable Living Trust

    One problem that I've seen over and over again in my last 25 years of practicing estate planning law, is the unfunded or underfunded Revocable Living Trust. What do I mean by this? Well, time and again I've met with a client who comes into my office with their late parent's fancy and impressive looking living trust documents only to find out that there... Read More

  • Pennsylvania Estate Planning and Dying Without a Will

    What Happens if You Die Without a Will in Pennsylvania? PA Laws of Intestate Succession

    Creating an Estate Plan Doesn’t Have to be Hard, But Not Having One Can be Very Hard on Your Family!

    If you die without a will in Pennsylvania, your assets will pass to your closet living next of kin pursuant to state “intestate succession” laws. Here are some basics on how intestate succession works in Pennsylvania.

    Which Assets Are Affected?

    ... Read More

  • Estate Planning

    Estate Planning Lessons Learned

    Here's an article that I came across in Forbes magazine that really does a nice job of laying out why it's so very important to have at least a basic estate plan in place. The article relates one woman's personal story of what she learned about money and estate matters after her father's death. As she tells it, her father was good but complicated man and... Read More

  • Executor of an Estate

    Three Quick Tips for an Estate Executor

    Sure, it’s an honor and a privilege to be named as an Executor of a loved one’s Last Will and Testament, but it can also be a big responsibility and a whole lot of work. Being an Executor, a Personal Representative or the Administrator of an estate requires organization, attention to detail and the ability to communicate effectively with a group of heirs... Read More

  • Probate Costs

    Why Should You Choose Our Law Firm If You Need A Probate Estate Attorney?


    American Wills & Estates is a locally founded, owned and operated Pittsburgh law firm with a practice limited to Probate Estate Administration, Estate Planning and Real Estate law.

    We have been assisting clients throughout Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania through the often difficult and emotional probate estate administration... Read More

  • Estate Tax Won’t Be Repealed This Year, Predicts Top Estate Tax Attorney

    Here's an interesting article I came across explaining why the Federal Estate Tax probably won't be revoked this year and, perhaps, not any time real soon. Take a look.

    Estate Tax Won’t Be Repealed This Year, Predicts Top Estate Tax Attorney
    January , 2017 • TED KNUTSON

    Despite promises by President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans... Read More

  • Wills and Will Lawyers

    The Elusive “Uncontestable” Will

    Is there really any such thing as an “uncontestable” Will? The simple answer is no, but you can certainly takes steps to make such a challenge extremely difficult.
    A lot of people think that putting a certain amount of time, work, or even money into drafting estate planning documents can prevent a troublesome family member from challenging a Will.... Read More

  • Probate Estate Administration

    Probate: Taking the First Steps After the Loss of a Loved One

    If you're facing the prospect of having to administer the estate of a recently deceased loved one and have no idea where to begin, here's a nice little video that lays out some of the initial steps you'll need to take.

    We've been guiding clients throughout Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania through the probate estate administration process with... Read More

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Pittsburgh Probate Estate Administration and Estate Planning Lawyers