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Is your will probate-proof? 3 common issues with PA wills

Posted by Anita F. O'Meara, Esq. | May 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

From financial assets to personal possessions, creating a will is essential for ensuring your estate passes on as intended after your death.

However, before assets distribute to your beneficiaries, the state must be able to verify that your will is a valid one. If your document contains legal errors or oversights, it may lead to complications and delays during the probate process.

1. Nonstandard markings

Once you have created a will, it is important to be careful about making changes. If you cross out provisions you no longer prefer or write in new provisions, the court may subject your will to a hearing to determine which parts of the document are enforceable. If you need to make changes, you may want to prepare a codicil or draft an entirely new document.

2. Failing to name a capable executor

Your executor is a personal representative responsible for administering your estate after your death. If you fail to name an executor, the state may appoint one for you. Additionally, it is important to name an alternative executor should your first choice of agent be unable to carry out his or her duties.

3. Presenting a copy of your original will

You should make sure to keep your original will in a safe place and to let your executor know where to find it. If he or she files a copy of the document, the court may assume the original no longer exists. That may mean a lengthy hearing to determine whether the copy is legally acceptable.

The probate process can be intensely stressful for loved ones, but that is especially true when complications arise about the validity of a will. If you worry that your will may not hold up during probate, you may want to review your document carefully.

About the Author

Anita F. O'Meara, Esq.

PRACTICE AREAS: Estate Planning, ADministration and litigation, and Commercial litigation Biography:  Anita Fulwiler O'Meara concentrates on providing estate planning and probate services throughout Southeaster Pennsylvania, including Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, and Montgomery, counties, wit...


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