WILL -of- <NAME OF TESTATOR> I, <Name of Testator>, of <Name of City>, <Name of County> County, Pennsylvania, declare this to be my will, and I revoke all other wills and codicils. I. EXECUTORS A. I appoint my husband/wife, _______________, to serve as the executor of my estate. If my husband/wife should fail or cease to serve, I appoint _______________ and _______________ to serve together as the executors of my estate. B. No executor shall be required to file bond or enter security in any jurisdiction. II. PERSONAL EFFECTS I give all of my jewelry, clothing, books, photographs, furniture and furnishings, appliances, and other personal and household items, together with all policies insuring those items, to my husband/wife, ________________, if he/she survives me by thirty days. If my husband/wife does not so survive me, I give all those items to those of my children who survive me by thirty days, to be divided between or among them as they may agree. III. RESIDUARY ESTATE I give all the rest of my estate to my husband/wife, ______________, if he/she survives me by thirty days. If my husband/wife does not so survive me, I give all the rest of my estate to my children, in equal shares. However, the share of each child of mine who does not survive me by thirty days shall be distributed to his or her issue who survive me by thirty days, those issue to take per stirpes, or, if there is no such issue, the deceased child's share shall be divided among my other children and distributed to them (or their issue). IV. MINOR OR DISABLED BENEFICIARIES A. I appoint as guardians of all property which is owned by a minor or passes to a minor and for which the law permits me to appoint a guardian by my will, regardless of whether the minor acquires the property under my will or in some other way, the same persons I have appointed as executors. The guardians may use the principal as well as the income of the property for the minor's health, maintenance, support, and education, as the guardians, in their sole discretion, from time to time consider advisable. No guardian shall be required to file bond or enter security in any jurisdiction and, whenever appropriate, the provisions of my will which apply to my executors shall also apply to my guardians, including (but not limited to) the provisions for management powers. B. Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph or any other provision of my will, whenever my executors are authorized or directed to distribute any income or principal to any beneficiary who is less than twenty-one years of age, has been declared incompetent by a court, or is considered by my executors, in their discretion, to be unable to manage his or her own financial affairs: 1. My executors may apply the income or principal directly for the purposes expressed or, if no purposes are expressed, for the health, maintenance, support, education, or other expenses of the beneficiary, by direct payment of expenses or by distribution to any person caring for the beneficiary, without the approval of any court or any guardian or other fiduciary, and without any liability for those applications. 2. My executors need not distribute any income or principal to the beneficiary, or to any guardian or other representative of the beneficiary, but may retain the income or principal in a separate trust for the beneficiary and distribute or apply as much of the income and principal as my executors, in their sole discretion, from time to time consider advisable for the health, maintenance, support, education, or other expenses of the beneficiary, without the approval of any court or any guardian or other fiduciary, and without any liability for those applications. The undistributed balance of income and principal shall be distributed to the beneficiary when the reason for withholding the income and principal ends, or to the personal representatives of the beneficiary's estate upon the death of the beneficiary. 3. My executors may distribute the income or principal to any individual, bank, or trust company (including any of my executors) appointed by my executors as a custodian for the beneficiary under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act if the beneficiary is less than twenty-one years of age and the appointment and distribution are permitted by law. V. PROTECTIVE PROVISION Until actual distribution to a beneficiary, no income or principal, or any interest in any income or principal, may be sold, assigned, pledged, or otherwise disposed of in any way by the beneficiary, and no income or principal shall be subject to any attachment or other interference by any legal or equitable procedure. VI. TAXES My executors shall pay from my residuary estate all death taxes payable by reason of my death with respect to all property and interests passing under my will. To the fullest extent allowable by law or any governing instrument, my executors shall recover from any property or interest passing outside of my will all other death taxes which my executors may be required to pay by reason of my death. VII. POWERS OF EXECUTORS In addition to the powers given to them by law or by other provisions of my will, my executors shall have the following powers, which they may exercise as often as they consider advisable, and until final distribution, without having to seek or obtain approval from any court: A. To retain any property comprising a part of my estate, and to retain and to invest in all forms of real and personal property, regardless of (1) any limitations imposed by law on investments by executors, (2) any principle of law concerning delegation of investment responsibility, and (3) any principle of law concerning investment diversification. B. To sell at public or private sale, to grant options on, to exchange, or otherwise to dispose of any property. C. To repair, alter, subdivide, or improve any property. D. To compromise, or submit to arbitration, any claims, including any arising as a result of my death. E. To renew, or to extend the time for the debtor to pay, any obligation. F. To pay the cost of perpetual care of my gravesite as an expense of my estate. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand on , 19 . ______________________________ <Name of Testator> In our presence, <Name of Testator> signed this instrument and declared it to be his/her will, and we, at his/her request, in his/her presence, and in the presence of each other, have signed it as witnesses. ______________________________ ______________________________ Name Address ______________________________ ______________________________ Name Address ================================================================ ACKNOWLEDGEMENT COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA : : SS. COUNTY OF : I, <Name of Testator>, the testator, whose name is signed to the attached or foregoing instrument, having been duly qualified according to law, do hereby acknowledge that I signed and executed the instrument as my last will; that I signed it willingly; and that I signed it as my free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed. ______________________________ <Name of Testator> Sworn or affirmed to and acknowledged before me by <Name of Testator>, the testator, this day of , 19 . (SEAL) ______________________________ Notary Public ================================================================ AFFIDAVIT COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA : : SS. COUNTY OF : We, and , the witnesses whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument, being duly qualified according to law, do depose and say that we were present and saw the testator sign and execute the instrument as his/her last will; that he/she signed willingly and that he/she executed it as his/her free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed; that each of us in the hearing and sight of the testator signed the will as witnesses; and that to the best of our knowledge the testator was at the time 18 or more years of age, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence. ______________________________ Witness ______________________________ Witness Sworn or affirmed to and subscribed to before me by and , witnesses, this day of , 19 . (SEAL) ______________________________ Notary Public
Notes: This is an example of a simple will that might be suitable for a Pennsylvania resident with a very small estate, and who is married with adult children. (There is no tax planning, and no trusts for minor children, although there are protective provisions for property unintentionally passing to minor grandchildren.) This will is not suitable for someone with minor children, because there are no provisions for guardians or trustees for the children.
Gender choices ("his/her") are shown with slashes, and only one of the two words would appear in a real will.
The last two pages are "self-proving" affidavits which are not necessary to the validity of the will, but can make it easier to probate ("prove") the will after death.
Evans Law Office
Daniel B. Evans, Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 27370
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Telephone: (866) 348-4250
Copyright 1996 Daniel B. Evans. All rights reserved. Not legal advice.