Legal Last Will and Testament Form for a Single Person with Minor Children
Note: Note: This summary is not intended to be an
all-inclusive discussion of the law of wills in Pennsylvania, but does
provide basic and other information. This discussion does not include
Who may make a will: Any person 18 or more years of
age who is of sound mind may make a will. § 2501.
Form and execution of a will: Every will shall be in
writing and shall be signed by the testator at the end thereof, subject
to the following rules and exceptions:
Words following signature.-The presence of any writing after the signature
to a will, whether written before or after its execution, shall not invalidate
that which precedes the signature.
Signature by mark.-If the testator is unable to sign his name for any
reason, a will to which he makes his mark and to which his name is subscribed
before or after he makes his mark shall be as valid as though he had signed
his name thereto; Provided, That he makes his mark in the presence of two
witnesses who sign their names to the will in his presence.
Signature by another.-If the testator is unable to sign his name or
to make his mark for any reason, a will to which his name is subscribed
in his presence and by his express direction shall be as valid as though
he had signed his name thereto: Provided, That he declares the instrument
to be his will in the presence of two witnesses who sign their names to
it in his presence. § 2502.
Validity of execution: A will is validly executed
if executed in compliance with section 2502 (relating to form and execution
of a will), or in compliance with the law of the jurisdiction where the
testator was domiciled at the time of the execution of the will or at the
time of his death. § 2504.1.
Revocation of a will: No will or codicil in writing,
or any part thereof, can be revoked or altered otherwise than:
Will or codicil. By some other will or codicil in writing;
Other writing. By some other writing declaring the same, executed and
proved in the manner required of wills; or
Act to the document. By being burnt, torn, canceled, obliterated, or
destroyed, with the intent and for the purpose of revocation, by the testator
himself or by another person in his presence and by his express direction.
If such act is done by any person other than the testator, the direction
of the testator must be proved by the oaths or affirmations of two competent
witnesses. § 2505.
Modification by circumstances: Wills shall be modified
upon the occurrence of any of the following circumstances among others:
Divorce.-If the testator is divorced from the bonds of matrimony after
making a will, any provision in the will in favor of or relating to his
spouse so divorced shall thereby become ineffective for all purposes unless
it appears from the will that the provision was intended to survive the
Marriage.-If the testator marries after making a will, the surviving
spouse shall receive the share of the estate to which he would have been
entitled had the testator died intestate, unless the will shall give him
a greater share or unless it appears from the will that the will was made
in contemplation of marriage to the surviving spouse.
Devise or bequest to trust: A devise or bequest in
a will may be made to the trustee of a trust, including any unfunded trust,
established in writing by the testator or any other person before, concurrently
with or after the execution of the will. Such devise or bequest shall not
be invalid because the trust is amendable or revocable, or both, or because
the trust was amended after execution of the will. Unless the will provides
otherwise, the property so devised or bequeathed shall not be deemed held
under a testamentary trust of the testator but shall become and be a part
of the principal of the trust to which it is given to be administered and
disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the instrument establishing
that trust and any amendment thereof. An entire revocation of the trust
prior to the testator's death shall invalidate the devise or bequest unless
the will directs otherwise. § 2515.
Penalty clause for contest: A provision in a will
or trust purporting to penalize an interested person for contesting the
will or trust or instituting other proceedings relating to the estate or
trust is unenforceable if probable cause exists for instituting proceedings.