Wayne, PA asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania

Q: My daughter got married a few days ago. She asked me to sign my will and trust before

the wedding. But the lawyer won't let me do. He scheduled about week after her wedding. I am still not signed yet.

I worry what make a difference. I her parter has a will and already signed or his own money.

I would like to know what makes difference.

Thank you

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2 Lawyer Answers
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: There is a concept in marital law about "separate property of each spouse, meaning property acquired by each prior to the marriage, or by will or gift after the marriage.

A will transfers no property until the death of the testator, and until then, can always be changed so long as the testator has the "testamentary capacity" to make a will.

You don't say whether your trust is revocable or irrevocable. If it's irrevocable, then transfers to the trust cannot be taken back by the donor/transferor. That results in a present gift/transfer to the trust beneficiaries, so the time of the transfer may have significance in various ways, but not in the marital law world.

In other words, I think your daughter's rush to effect the transfers to the trust and signatures to the will is unjustified.

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Wormleysburg, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Not sure why your daughter was rushing you to sign a Will or Trust prior to her wedding. And it is unclear if it is your attorney or her attorney that advised to wait until after the wedding to sign your documents (and has not scheduled the signing yet). I would step back, take a deep breath and make sure the draft Will and Trust accomplish what you want before you sign them, and ask any questions you might have before you sign them. If there are concerns or questions about what happens if you gift assets to your daughter now (after she is married) or if she inherits your assets from you in the future, and then gets divorced at some time in the future, you can revise your draft Will and Trust to deal with that issue (before you sign these new documents), and you can also request that your daughter and her new spouse sign a Post Nuptial Agreement before you sign your new documents.

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