Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

how long does it take for a will to go into affect

Asked on 5/07/15, 7:14 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

John Davidson Law Office of John A. Davidson

Go into effect how?


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Answered on 5/07/15, 7:26 am
Solomon Weinstein Solomon Weinstein, Esquire

Your question is not specific enough. If a will is properly executed then it is effective upon execution. A will is an ambulatory document it can be changed at any time so it will not take effect until the testator dies. It can always be amended by a codicil or entirely superseded by a new will or perhaps other estate planning documents such as a trust.

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Answered on 5/07/15, 11:52 am

Your question is unclear. A will takes effect immediately upon execution in one sense. However, the will does not operate to transfer assets until the person who made the will (called a testator) dies. This is because the will can be revoked/changed up to the moment of death as noted by Attorney Weinstein.

In answer to your question, wills are for the dead only and become effective as of the date of death. Until then, there is only an expectation of an inheritance by the beneficiaries and an expectation by the testator as to how his possessions will be distributed at death.

If you are asking about estate administration, that is something else. It takes on average, depending on the size and complexity of the estate, 1 to 2 years to administer an estate where the will has been filed (probated) and a petition for estate administration has been filed.

You either need to re-post your question as to what you are really asking with more facts or go and see a probate attorney if you are the beneficiary of an estate and the testator is deceased or possibly an estate planning attorney if you are a testator who makes a will.

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Answered on 5/07/15, 5:11 pm

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