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

Estate Attorney

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.

Executor Mistakes

Probate Mistakes - What Not to Do if You're an Executor

Serving as the Executor of a loved one's estate is a great honor, but it's also a serious obligation and undertaking. Sometimes, mistakes can be made that will turn the job into a real nightmare.

Here's an interesting article that I came across in the Wall Street Journal that does a nice job of highlighting some of the big mistakes that every Executor should strive... 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 were little or no... 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 process with competency,... 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 competency,... Read More

Estate Planning Mistake #4: Failing to Update Your Beneficiaries Following Life Changes

One of the most common problems we encounter as estate lawyers involve faulty, incomplete or mistaken beneficiary designations.  We see over and over again cases where someone has passed away and there surviving spouse or other family members find out to late that they had either never made a beneficiary designation on a particular investment account or insurance policy or... Read More

Supplemental Needs Trusts

Here's a nice little article by a New York attorney about Supplemental Needs Trusts. Short but informative for those of you who may have a special needs family member and are wondering how they can safely be included such in your estate plan. Take a look.

How to Leave Money to Disabled Beneficiaries Without Compromising Benefit Entitlements

While not everyone who... Read More

Estate Planning, Last Will and Testament

Estate Planning Mistake #2: Failing to Have or to Maintain a Valid Will

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... Read More


The Personal Representative (sometimes called the Executor or Administrator) appointed by the court is responsible for carrying out the administration of a loved one’s estate. Since the Personal Representative will be handling money and assets for someone else (i.e. the decedent, the beneficiaries, the heirs, and potential creditors of the estate) he or she is acting and... Read More

Power of Attorney

The Importance of Having a Power of Attorney

One of the most important pieces in a simple estate plan is a well drafted Power of Attorney. While a Last Will and Testament only comes into play after your death, a Power of Attorney is a legal document that can have a profound impact on your day-to-day care and well- being in the event that you become incapacitated or unable to manage your own affairs at some point... Read More



Stop procrastinating, I know no one likes to talk about estate planning, but it certainly doesn’t have to be a scary process that you keep putting off until tomorrow.  If you do absolutely nothing else, please take at the very least these basic steps:


At a minimum, everyone should... Read More

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Pittsburgh Probate Estate Administration and Estate Planning Lawyers