Who can make a will in Pennsylvania?

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Estate Planning on Apr 6, 2016.

Here in Pennsylvania, a vast majority of adults are eligible to make a will. Under state law, there are only two requirements a person has to meet in order to be allowed to make a will. 

The first is an age requirement. To be eligible to form a will, a person must be 18 or over.

The second requirement regards mental capacity. A person must be of sound mind to create a will.

As a note, these are just the requirements for who can form a will, there are other requirements regarding what needs to happen for a will an eligible person formed to be legally enforceable.

Given the very small number of personal eligibility requirements for wills, individuals in all different sorts of life circumstances have wills as an available estate planning option.

Also, having a will is not something that is only useful for certain limited groups of people. Having one’s wishes regarding the after-death treatment of their assets and other important matters in a legally enforceable form can be a helpful thing for individuals in all different kinds of life circumstances.

So, the range of people who can form a will and for whom having a will can be helpful is very wide indeed. However, this does not mean that personal circumstances are irrelevant when forming a will. A person’s unique situation (such as their family situation and their particular goals) can greatly affect what sorts of will terms they may want to include when forming a will and what sorts of estate planning devices they may want to have in addition to the will they are forming. Estate planning attorneys can guide individuals here in Pennsylvania through the process of figuring out what kinds of will terms and estate planning strategies are best suited for their particular life circumstances and goals.