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In Pennsylvania, what do you have to do to have a legal will? Must it be notarized?

Reisterstown, MD |

Have a 94 year old aunt with a "will" written on a piece of notebook paper. It is not registered nor notarized.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You really need to get aunt to an estates attorney. This is obviously not a will. She should have a will, a durable power of attorney and a living will/advance medical directives. Depending on the size of her estate and the beneficiaries involved estate planning would be advisable and the use of a trust may be warranted depending on the situation. Have her see an estates attorney immediately.
    For more on estate planning and other issues, see Estate Planning Mistakes: 5 Not So Easy Pieces at http://www.sjfpc.com/estate_planning_drafting_wills_trusts.html. Please hit the like button at the end of the article if you found it helpful.

    For more on talking with aging parents about this topic please read Estate Planning For Elderly Parents: Discussing Finances and Estate Planning with Your Aging Parents at the following link:
    http://www.sjfpc.com/estate_planning_for_aging_parents.html. Please hit the like button at the end of the article if you found it helpful.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website www.sjfpc.com. and blog

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  2. I suggest you contact attorney Fromm. He frequently answers questions in this forum is highly qualified. Good luck.


  3. You should have her contact an attorney who is licensed in Pennsylvania. However, if she is now living in Maryland, she would need a Maryland attorney.

    Pennsylvania wills are treated differently if they are notarized (they are considered "self proving"). Maryland does not draw such a distinciton and therefore most wills here are not notarized.

    However, your aunt should most definately speak with an attorney.

    ***
    I proudly serve clients throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. My phone number is (443) 352-8517 and my email address is nick@proylaw.com. For more information, you can also visit my website at www.proylaw.com.

    Licensed in MD, PA and DC. This is not legal advice. I am not your attorney until we have mutually agreed that I am your attorney. You should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction regarding your specific circumstances.

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