My dad has a will and named me executor. Since is was done by attorney, does that mean it's also registered in the courthouse?

Asked about 2 years ago - Allentown, PA

We are not doing probate because it's a small estate. I learned that the power of attorney is not valid now because of death. Since the will names me executor, is that valid, or does it have to be "official" thru the register of wills? Since done by an attorney, would it already be registered?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Marshall D. Chriswell

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You must probate the will at the register of wills. It is not already on file at the courthouse just because it was drafted by an attorney. You should really consider hiring a probate attorney (maybe the attorney who drew up the will?). It's not that expensive usually, and always worth it to make sure things are done right.

    Please remember to mark this answer as “Helpful” or “Best Answer” if appropriate. Thank you.


    Marshall Chriswell

    Law Offices of Marshall D. Chriswell
    714 Philadelphia St., Suite 200
    Indiana, PA 15701
    (888) 438-5977
    (724) 465-5826


    Marshall D. Chriswell is a civil practitioner with offices in Indiana and Clearfield Counties. Mr. Chriswell's practice emphasizes Wills & Estate Planning, Probate, Real Estate, and general civil disputes.


    Mr. Chriswell provides free initial consultations, and will gladly meet clients in their homes upon request, including on the evenings or weekends.

    This communication does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship. If you... more
  2. John B. Whalen Jr.


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . ... Hello ...

    ... short and sweet ... here we go ... no, a Will is a private document that was your father's ... and, yes, you are correct - a Power of Attorney ceases at death ...

    ... you have to be sworn in at the Register of Wills - it's painless and takes about 16 or 17 minutes if you have all you paperwork ready ... then you have the capacity to act again ... for your father's estate now ...

    ... by the way, just because the attorney did it, you do not need to hire him if you choose not to do so ... it's up to you whether you feel like doing it alone - a great deal of issues are involved - or having an attorney that YOU choose ...

    ... Good luck ...

    ... John ...

    John B. Whalen, Jr., J.D., LL.M. is an AV Peer Review Attorney and Counselor at Law, is listed in The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, is Avvo Rated 10.0 Superb, is a recipient of the Legum Magister (LL.M.) Post-Doctorate Degree in Taxation (from the Villanova University School of Law), and is a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Wills, Trusts, and Estates (from the Widener University School of Law).

    Mr. Whalen, Jr. provides free initial home consultations seven (7) days per week, including all evenings, weekends, and holidays, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

    Although we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail, please remember that... more
  3. Kathleen Angelica Maloles

    Contributor Level 4


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Depending on what the value is of the estate, there are some options available where you would not have to go through a full probate process, but rather file a proceeding with the Orphans' Court.

    If the gross value of the decedent’s personal property, exclusive of real estate and payments made to family members or to a funeral director under 20 Pa. C.S. §3101, does not exceed $25,000.00 (if decedent died on or after January 30, 1995), any party in interest may petition the orphans’ court to direct distribution of the property to the parties entitled to it.

    My answers to questions at are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client... more
  4. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Your father's Will should be filed with the courthouse. If you are using a small estate procedure, however, the Will is normally not admitted to probate. I agree that you should have an attorney involved, regardless of which process you use. You need to make sure this is done right, or there could be expensive problems down the road.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more

Related Topics

Executor of will

The executor of a will is the person in charge of finalizing the deceased's estate (paying bills, etc.) and distributing the estate according to the will.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

33,822 answers this week

3,559 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

33,822 answers this week

3,559 attorneys answering