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What is required for a will to be valid?

A will is a cornerstone of any effective estate plan but many estate planners may wonder what the requirements of a valid will are. Because legal requirements for a will to be valid can vary by state, it is important for estate planners to know what the requirements are in their state and how to fulfill those requirements.

Ensuring that a will is valid can help prevent a will dispute down the road, ensure that property and assets are distributed according to the estate planner's wishes and can provide peace of mind for both the estate planner and their family. Because a valid will is a foundational component of an overall estate plan, estate planners should be familiar with the different requirements for a will to be valid which includes several important requirements.

New Attorney Announcement - Aimee Schnecker


Begley Carlin & Mandio, LLC is pleased to announce the addition of Aimee Schnecker to the firm's Criminal and Municipal Law Practice. Ms. Schnecker was born and raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude from Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida, where she received the St. Raymond of Penyafort Award for writing, was the Moot Court Vice President, and Secretary for the Women's Law Society. Ms. Schnecker earned a B.A. with a double major in English Literature and Business Management from Saint Peter's University in Jersey City, New Jersey in 2014, where she was part of the NCAA Division I softball team, received the Steven J Rosen Writing Award, along with the Ellis Award for Excellence in English literature. Ms. Schnecker concentrates her practice in the areas of Municipal, School and Criminal Law.

Get to know the DUI penalty system in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania used to have a legal limit on blood alcohol concentration of .10, but it was reduced by Act 24 to .08 percent like the federal law. General impairment is considered any BAC between .08 and .099 percent. High BAC in Pennsylvania is .10 to .159 percent. Highest BAC, which is the third category for a DUI, is any BAC of .16 or higher.

New DUI laws in the state make sure that minors, commercial drivers and bus or school-vehicle drivers face the high BAC penalties, even if the BAC is below that level. Those who refuse to take a BAC test, either breath or chemical, may face the highest penalties allowed.

How to respond to drunk driving charges

Sometimes people do not realize how serious drunk driving charges are and how significant the impact can be on their lives. DUI charges can be costly personally, financially and in terms of the accused individual's freedoms.

Drunk driving charges can lead to steep fines, increases in insurance premiums and the possibility of jail time. In a true sense, an accused individual's freedom and future can be threatened when they are facing drunk driving charges. Because of how devastating drunk driving charges can be, it is important for accused individuals to know what their options are for fighting the charges against them. Developing a strong criminal defense strategy is a good first step.

For most PA families facing divorce, shared custody is standard

There was once a time not so long ago when the courts would typically assign primary custody to one parent from a divorcing couple. There were many different reasons that this became the standard, but one of them was the intention to reduce the strain on children in the wake of a divorce.

More psychological and sociological research has been done over the last few decades that has shown that alienating children from one parent could cause more damage than the schedule disruptions caused by fully shared parenting responsibilities. As a result, courts across the United States have moved toward a standard that focuses on the best interest of the children, including the maintenance of both parental relationships.

What types of damages can I receive after a car accident?

Victims who have suffered injuries or other types of harm in a car accident may be able to recover compensation for their damages. Compensation for car accident damages can help the victim with the physical, financial and emotional challenges they face following an unexpected car accident caused by a negligent driver.

A personal injury claim for damages can help car accident victims pursue the legal remedies available to them when a negligent driver has caused them harm. Unfortunately, careless drivers cause car accidents everyday which result in physical, financial and emotional expenses and costs to victims. Car accident victims may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, as well as future medical costs in some circumstances.

How do I know if my will is valid?

A valid will is an important part of an overall estate plan but estate planners may wonder how they know if their will is valid. There are specific requirements for a will to be valid in Pennsylvania, and other states as well, which is why it is essential for estate planners to be familiar with those requirements, and how to meet them, when executing a will.

A will is of primary importance when estate planning because it determines how the estate planner's property will be distributed. If a will is not valid, property is distributed according to state laws and may not reflect the estate planner's wishes. In Pennsylvania, the party executing the will must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind which means they must be mentally competent to execute the will.

College students, DUI charges and university conduct codes

Your child goes off to college in Pennsylvania, and you hope you have done enough to show them how to avoid any serious trouble. You know the reputation that college has, and you do worry about your child's future.

Then you get a phone call: Police arrested your child on suspicion of driving under the influence. He or she was on the way home from a social gathering at around 2 in the morning when police pulled the car over.

5 signs that your spouse is no longer happy

You got married five years ago, and you're starting to wonder if your spouse is still happy. If not, you fear that your marriage may be moving toward a divorce. It just does not quite feel the same as it used to.

You want to prepare in advance, but you are not sure exactly where you stand. It's an awkward conversation to start. Instead, you start looking for little signs to see if your spouse is unhappy being married. They may tip you off to a coming divorce in the not-so-distant future.

DUI defenses and legal help with drunk driving charges

Drunk driving charges are unquestionably serious and can result in license suspension, fines, possible jail time and other penalties and consequences such as a criminal record that may follow accused individuals for the rest of their lives. Because of how serious a DUI charge can be, it is essential for accused individuals to be familiar with the options available to them to defend against these serious charges.

The most common methods of challenging a DUI charge are to challenge police procedures or the alleged evidence against the accused individual. In addition, what are referred to as affirmative defenses may also be possible in some situations. Affirmative defenses to a DUI charge include necessity, duress, entrapment, involuntary intoxication and mistake of fact. If theses circumstances exist, it is important for accused individuals to understand these defense options.

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