What are the requirements for a legal will?

Having a will is a good idea to prevent issues after your death. It can enable you to ensure your assets are distributed the way you want them to be and to provide for your minor children. However, if your will is not properly written and created following Pennsylvania law, then it could be deemed invalid by the court, leaving your assets in the hands of the state. 

Fortunately, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has laid out the guidelines for writing a legal will. The requirements are rather simple and require attention to the signatures included in the document. You must sign the document to make it valid. If you cannot sign, you may make a mark to represent your signature as long as you have two witnesses who also sign to validate your mark. You may also have someone else sign on your behalf, but there must be two people to sign and it must be done in your presence. Signatures must go at the end of the document, but if there are words after the signature, they will not invalidate the will. 

As long as you follow those guidelines for a will created in the state, it is valid. It is important to note that the validity of this type of document is based upon where your legal residence is at the time it is created. If you did not live in this state, then validity is based on the law in the state in which you did live. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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