Pittsburgh Wills & Trusts Litigation Lawyers

Experienced Pittsburgh Wills & Trusts Litigation Attorneys Ready To Help You

Pittsburgh, still known as “Steel City” in some quarters, probates its wills and litigates wills and trusts through the misleadingly named Orphan’s Court. A well-drafted and well thought-out will or trust, however, is much less likely to end up in court than a poorly drafted or misconceived one. With the right Pittsburgh wills & trusts litigation lawyer, you can not only keep your estate out of court, you can maximize its value and distribute it wisely.

If Your Will Fails

If you die without a will, your probate estate will be considered “intestate.” The disposition of your non-probate assets, such as assets in a living trust, will be unaffected. Your probate assets, however, will be distributed under Pennsylvania’s intestate succession law, which distributes assets to close relatives according to certain rules. Spouses and children are most favored under these rules.

Signing Your Last Will and Testament: The Law in Pennsylvania

The law governing Pennsylvania wills can be found in the provisions of the Pennsylvania Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code that describe the form and execution of a will in Pennsylvania. Unlike many states, Pennsylvania does not require your will to be witnessed. But it’s still a good idea to sign your will in the presence of at least two adult witnesses, and to prepare notarized affidavits for all three of you, confirming your signates.

Setting Up a Trust

The Pennsylvania Trust Code governs the establishment and disposition of trusts in Pennsylvania. Placing assets in a trust can not only keep your property out of probate, it can allow you to distribute assets to your beneficiaries both before and after you die. Setting up a trust will require a grantor, a trustee, at least one beneficiary, and a carefully drafted trust document. Certain types of trusts also offer significant tax advantages.

Client Testimonial

“The attorneys at KDS Legal have represented me in an estate matter for over five years — through both trials and multiple appeals they never gave up on me or my case…and eventually they won.”

Charles O.

Related Practice Areas

The Pittsburgh wills & trusts litigation attorneys at KDS Legal also handle the following related matters:

  • Estate planning
  • Estate litigation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of information do I need to write a will and a living trust?

The following is an incomplete list. Not all of this information is needed under every circumstance.

  • An inventory of your assets with reliable valuations of each item;
  • Your marital status;
  • The names and ages of your intended beneficiaries;
  • The ages at which you want your children to receive trust property;
  • Instructions on exactly how you wish your probate estate to be distributed;
  • The identity of the guardian you appoint for your minor children;
  • The name of your nominee for personal representative of your estate; and
  • The name of the trustee of your living trust (you can appoint yourself if you wish).

Contact the Pittsburgh Wills & Trusts Lawyers at KDS Legal Today

There is an avalanche of “do-it-yourself” trust advice on the internet today, including generic, one-size-fits-all wills and trusts. If your estate is sizeable or the least bit complex, however, it would be risky to use these services instead of taking advantage of the services of Pittsburgh wills & trusts litigation lawyer. Too much is at stake.

If you need help drafting your will or other issues of Pennsylvania estate planning, contact the Pittsburgh wills & trusts litigation attorneys at KDS Legal by calling our Pittsburgh office, emailing us at info@kds.legal, or filling out our online contact form for a free initial consultation. Our clients hail from Oakland, East Liberty, Squirrel Hill, and elsewhere in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.