When must a Will be registered?

Contrary to what some believe, a Will does not get registered in Pennsylvania during the lifetime of the maker. It is recorded or probated by the Register of Wills only after death occurs. A Will becomes a public record only upon death and probate in the Register of Wills Office. This permits the maker to change or rewrite his Will as circumstance require and to keep its terms confidential during his lifetime. A decedent’s "last" Will automatically revokes all prior Wills and is the only one which is valid.

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1. What is a Will?
2. Should everyone have a Will?
3. What if there is no Will?
4. Does a Will become outdated?
5. Must a Will be witnessed?
6. When must a Will be registered?
7. When should a Will be changed?
8. How much does a Will cost?
9. Does a Will create more probate expenses?
10. Can life insurance take the place of a Will?
11. Does joint ownership avoid the need for having a Will?
12. Are taxes payable on an estate?