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Last Will & Testament

Preparing a Last Will & Testament in Pittsburgh

In the strictest sense of the word, a "will" is limited only to real property. As such, personal property must be handled separately. To do so, a "testament" is created and applied specifically to the dispositions of personal property. As a distinction that is rarely observed today, wills and testaments are more often than not considered to be one in the same, hence the name, "last will and testament."

Today, a person's last will and testament serves as a legal declaration of how that individual's property or estate should be managed after the creator of the document has passed away. The last will and testament of a person can therefore be very important in the proceedings that follow after their death. Accordingly, this type of document should only be prepared and executed in the presence of an established estate planning attorney.

What's included in the last will and testament?

The components of a last will and testament are somewhat formulaic in the sense that every person is required to include certain pieces of detailed information. In order to better prepare you for the requirements that will be expected of your own last will and testament, our Pittsburgh estate planning lawyer describes the requirements below:

  • An executor of the estate must be named
  • Instructions pertaining to the creator's burial must be identified
  • Payment of any outstanding debts must be addressed
  • Powers of the executor must be listed
  • Bequests to beneficiaries must be established

In order for a last will and testament to be considered valid, it must be signed by several individuals, including the testator (aka the creator of the document) and witnesses who can attest to the legality and validity of the document. Within its wording, the last will and testament must explicitly relinquish the responsibilities and requests that were previously established in a will that was made prior to the current will and testament being created.

Creating a Residuary Clause

In your last will and testament, a residuary clause can be included which will ensure that any personal items and / or property that is not otherwise disposed of will be given to the deceased's "residuary beneficiaries." The residuary beneficiaries to whom you wish any leftover property and assets to be bequeathed must be clearly identified in the language of your last will and testament. You can be as specific as to state which assets, real property, and personal property that you wish to be dispersed to the aforementioned individuals cited in your last will and testament.

How the Frayer Law Firm Can Help

As you prepare to create your own last will and testament, or as you attempt to execute the wishes detailed in a loved one's last will and testament, it can be extremely beneficial to have a professional estate planning attorney on your side guiding you through the complexities involved with the process.

At the Frayer Law Firm, you will be in the hands of a legal professional whose experience in the community spans nearly 40 years. Under my direction, you can rest assured that every aspect of your last will and testament will be attended to with the utmost care and attention to detail. Don't wait to contact my office today for more information.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.