In the state of Pennsylvania, if you were to die without a Will, you would be deemed to have died intestate, meaning without a Will. Due to beneficiaries not being specified by you in a Will, Pennsylvania law will determine who receives your estate depending on who is your next of kin. In addition, the court would have to decide and appoint an individual to handle your affairs for you, since one was not designated by your choosing in a Will.
As an example, if you were to die without a Will in Pennsylvania, with a surviving spouse and two children, children who are also your spouses, your spouse would receive the first $30,000 from your estate plus one half of the remaining estate, with the other half being distributed amongst your children. Now let’s say for example, you die with a spouse and two children who are not the children of your surviving spouse, your spouse would receive one half of your estate with your children receiving the other half in equal shares.
By creating a Will or using other estate planning documents, you have control over who will receive your estate upon your death, avoiding your estate going to individuals who you otherwise would not have chosen. In addition, you can avoid lengthy litigation for heirs, and provide peace of mind to your family that your affairs are in order. Our office specializes in estate planning and would be happy to assist you in setting up a Will as well as other important estate planning documents that best suit your needs.
If you have any questions about the topic discussed in this video, or any estate law matter, please give us a call at Bononi & Company 724-832-2499.