When is a will effective?

A will is in effect when signed by the person making the will but does not become operative until that person dies. A will may be revoked at any time prior to death by the execution of a subsequent will or codicil or by destruction of the will itself by the testator (the person who signed the will). The document admitted to probate will be the last will signed by the testator.

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1. What is a will?
2. Should everyone have a will?
3. Is my will on file with the Register of Wills?
4. What happens if you don't have a will?
5. When is a will effective?
6. Must a will be witnessed?
7. When should a will be changed?
8. If I am named in a will, can I simply assume responsibilities to carry out the terms of the will?
9. If a short certificate is needed to liquidate or receive certain assets of a decedent, can I purchase one from the Register of Wills?
10. Does a valid will avoid Pennsylvania Inheritance Taxes?
11. Must a lawyer write a will?