Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

lawyer now deceased

my father-in-law had his will, living will, etc drawn up by a lawyer a few yrs ago but this lawyer is now deceased. my father-in-law is 90yrs old and we are trying to get things ''in order'' -- what should we do when he passes since his lawyer is deceased -- who/where do we go with his will, etc to settle his estate?? Thank you

Asked on 8/25/06, 5:48 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Miriam Jacobson Law Offices of Miriam N. Jacobson
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Re: lawyer now deceased

First of all, there is no requirement that anyone retain the lawyer who wrote will documents. So long as you have the original of all of those documents, you can act when it becomes necessary. If you or your father do not have the documents, you should contact the deceased lawyer's estate representative, to request those documents.

Depending on the complexity of your father's estate when he passes, you may be able to administer the estate on your own. The Registers of Wills in PA are very helpful to individuals and will assist in preparing and filing the documents required.

If you require additional assistance, your local county bar association can probably give you several names of lawyers who routinely provide legal services to administer estates.

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8/25/06, 11:54 am
Bonnie Moses Dessen, Moses & Rossitto
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Re: lawyer now deceased

The important question is "where are the original documents". It does not matter if the attorney is alive or not. If you have the original documents, you can move ahead. It may be that the lawyer kept them, or he may have given them to your father in law. Sometimes we can obtain documents from the office of deceased lawyers. If the originals are lost, it is most likely best to have new ones done.

To discuss this further, please email my associate Sam Rossitto at srossitt@dms-lawyer.com, to set up a free phone consultation with him.

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8/28/06, 5:17 pm

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