Are handwritten wills legal in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2020 | Estate Planning

A will is something every person should have to offer guidance to their loved ones when they pass away or become incapacitated. This document can outline your wishes and desires for what should happen to your assets after your death. It also can cover your preferences if you should become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions.

The law specifies what you must do to make a will legal. According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the law states that you must be at least 18 years old when you create the document. It does not, however, specify that you must type up the will.

Handwritten or typed

The law only states that, to be legal, your will must be in writing. It does not distinguish between typewritten and handwritten. So, a handwritten will, under the law, will stand up in court, and a judge will recognize it as legal as long as it meets all the other requirements.

Other requirements

Besides meeting the age requirement and having your will in writing, the law also states, to be valid, the document must include your signature at the bottom. If you cannot sign, you can make a mark, but you must have two witnesses who see you make the mark and who also sign the will.

Origin of the will

Do note that if you created your will in another state, the laws of that state apply. Some states may not recognize a handwritten will. It is important to check the laws or create a new will in Pennsylvania that states previous documents are void.

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