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Will Attorneys

Life can change in an instant. One day you’re here, but the next day you could be gone. But what’s worse is not knowing what the future holds for your family and loved ones when you’re gone. Unfortunately, many people do not plan for the future. The sooner you plan ahead, the less stress you will have worrying about the what-ifs.

The best way to secure the well-being of your family’s future is through a will. But where do you begin?

For starters, you should contact the Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli. For 20 years, our estate planning lawyers have helped clients across Pennsylvania with drafting their wills. We understand how difficult this situation can be. That’s why we will take the time to walk you through the process and make sure the future is not a concern.


When planning one’s estate, a will is used to express someone’s wishes as to how their property is to be distributed at death. A will is also responsible for naming the party who will manage the estate until its final distribution, otherwise known as an executor.

Having and executing a will is potentially the most crucial step in the estate planning process in Pennsylvania. If someone does not have a will when they pass away, the state will distribute your property. This is also true if a court finds your will invalid.


In Pennsylvania, there are several types of wills that can be prepared. Depending on which type you choose is determined by a person’s unique circumstances. The types of wills include:

Simple will: This type of will contains no trust provisions and leaves the deceased’s belongings to one or more people. It is typically used when the estate left behind is small enough that there are no tax considerations, and the deceased has no children, or children that are already of age, that protection of a trust is not needed.

Will with a trust for children: This type of will contains provisions for your children and someone with a disability who needs the protection of a trust. It will be used when there are children and the estate left is small enough that there are no tax considerations like above.

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Will with a disclaimer trust: This type of will contains trust provisions that are optional. In most cases, this type of will awards gifts outright instead of a trust. However, there are provisions that go into effect if the beneficiary refuses to accept a gift under the will.

Will with a marital gift and non-marital trust: This is a will with some type of trust that preserves a couple’s credit amount in the estate of the first spouse to die, along with another trust that allows another part of the estate to pass to the surviving spouse free of Federal Estate Tax.

Will with a QTIP and non-marital trusts: This is a will with a trust, in which the unified credit amount intact in the estate of the first spouse to die and with a Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trust that permits the income from another part estate, to be used by the surviving spouse and then passed down to others free of Federal Estate Tax.

Pour Over Will: This type of will serves as a safety net to any belongings that aren’t included in a living trust. The assets will automatically transfer to a previously established trust upon a person’s death.

Will with a Qualifying Domestic Trust (QDOT): A will with a Qualifying Domestic Trust (QDOT) contains a trust that permits the deferral of Federal Estate Tax until the death of the surviving spouse where the surviving spouse isn’t a U.S. citizen.

Why Should You Have A Will?

You might think having a will isn’t a big deal, but in reality, it is. Regardless of how much money you have or possessions you own, a will is an essential part of the estate planning process. It will ensure that your assets will go to your family or whoever is designated as a beneficiary. If you own a business, a will can ensure the legal transaction of your assets and shares goes smoothly.

If your children are still considered minors, a will is necessary to ensure who their legal guardians are going forward; especially in the event that both parents die.

Without a will, the state will distribute the property according to intestacy laws.

Intestacy laws are inheritance guidelines which distribute the deceased's assets throughout the family, starting with the closest living family member. This is why you will want to create your own will, to ensure that your property is left to those individuals of your choosing.

How to Amend a Will

Wills can be amended in a process known as a codicil. A will can also be revoked through certain actions.

  • Creating a newly drafted and validated will.
  • Providing other written documents signed and proved in the same manner in which a will is deemed valid.
  • Through the act of burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the will with the purpose of revocation.

Grounds to Contest a Will

When a loved one passes and their will has been changed, you may suspect wrongdoing and wish to contest the will. There are various grounds in which a will may be contested. They are:

  • Lack of Testamentary Capacity
  • Undue Influence
  • Fraud
  • Forgery
  • Mistake
  • Insane Delusion

If you believe a loved one’s will was created under terms which were not representative of their wishes, you need legal assistance from a trusted estate planning law firm.

Our Pennsylvania Will Attorneys Can Help You

The time to plan for the future is now. That is why the estate planning attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli are here to help you plan ahead. We will work tirelessly to make this process as simple as possible by working with financial advisors and experts to make sure your finances are taken care of.

Act now, not later. Contact the Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli today for a free consultation.

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