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

Estate Planning

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.

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?

Only those assets that... 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, unfortunately, he... 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. That’s not how... Read More

Wills and Estates

Do I Really Need a Will?

People are constantly asking me, "Lloyd, do I really need a Will. Isn't that something only people with a lot of money need?" And my answer is always a big, resounding NO. Not only should everyone have at least a simple Will as part of their estate plan, they should most definitely also have a well drafted Power of Attorney and Living Will as part of their overall plan as... Read More

Last Will and Testament

The Importance of Having a Last Will and Testament

The importance of having a Last Will and Testament and.....a little Purple Rain to go with it. Estate planning doesn't have to be scary, difficult or expensive, but it's so very important to get it done. Quit procrastinating folks, despite the rumors to the contrary....none of us are going to live forever.
http://fox2now.com/2016/05/03/importance-of-having-a-will/... Read More

Power of Attorneys are Extremely Important, But Make Sure You Understand What You Are Signing

A well drafted Durable Power of Attorney is an extremely important part of most of our clients overall estate plans, but make sure you understand the significance of the power that you will be granting. This article that appeared in the N.Y. Times does a nice job of explaining the importance of these documents, but also how they can lead to fraud and abuse if given to the... 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

Common Estate Planning Mistakes by NFL Players

Learn From These 6 Estate Planning Mistakes of NFL Players In honor of the Big Game, this article explains six of the estate planning mistakes that NFL players commonly make. While not everyone will earn as much as an NFL star, the average American can still benefit from avoiding these mistakes in their own lives.

1. Living in the present, instead of planning for the... Read More

Estate Planning Mistake #3: Letting Your Heirs Fight Over Your Personal Effects

It’s been my experience that parents are often the only thing keeping their adult children from tearing each other’s heads off over every disputed matter or perceived slight. And, once the parents are gone, the fighting often reaches new levels of insanity. This is often particularly the case when it comes to the division of a parent’s personal and household effects after... 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

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Pittsburgh Probate Estate Administration and Estate Planning Lawyers