Research guides

Pennsylvania Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Estate Practice & Planning

Estate planning is "the process of arranging for the ultimate disposition of an individual's accumulated assets and possessions. Although a standard will may be sufficient in many cases, the estate planning process should not be limited to will drafting and testamentary transfers. . . . The ultimate goal in all estate planning situations is to effect the client's desires for the disposition of his or her estate in the simplest and most risk-free manner possible, while minimizing tax liability and insuring liquidity in the estate." 5 Pennsylvania Transaction Guide (LexisNexis) § 60.20 (Rel. 80 - Mar. 2015).

Pennsylvania statutes on estate planning and practice are found in title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. Additional estate-related laws may be included in other areas of the Pennsylvania Statutes. Use the index volumes or conduct a search to find relevant statutes. For where to find Pennsylvania statutes, see the Pennsylvania Statutes guide.

The resources listed below are a selection of the secondary materials related to estate practice and planning in Pennsylvania. It may be beneficial to also look at the resources listed in the Drafting Wills and Drafting Trusts pages of this guide. Additional material may be available at Jenkins. Search the Jenkins' catalog for estate* planning and limit the location to Pennsylvania for a more detailed list. Visitors to Jenkins may also want to browse the shelves around call numbers KFP137 through KFP147.

Forms

The following resources include sample forms related to estate practice and planning in Pennsylvania.

Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers.
See chapters 65-90.

PA Legal Forms Gale
Member database available to all members. Forms available on Gale Legal Forms include forms drafted by attorneys for a particular legal matter, as well as forms from public records and participating companies and attorneys. Gale Legal Forms do not include references to statutes, regulations, or court rules.

Pennsylvania Estate Planning LexisNexis
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. Includes forms.

Pennsylvania Transaction Guide: Legal Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers. Also referred to as Bongiovanni.
See Chapter 60: Estate Planning Guide. Additional information on estate practice and planning may also be found in Wills & Trusts, volumes 5-7 (chapters 60-119).

West's Pennsylvania Forms West
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Estate Planning, Part I: Systematizing Estate Planning (chapters 1-2). Additional information on estate practice and planning may also be found throughout volumes 7-9 in the print ("Estate Planning" on Westlaw).

Research Tip

Forms may also be included in the other resources listed on this page.

For additional resources on estate planning for animals and pets, see the Animal Law guide.

Member Databases

The following member databases include information and sample forms related to estate practice and planning in Pennsylvania. Members must be logged in to jenkinslaw.org to access these databases. These databases are also available in the library.

PA Legal Forms
Member database available to all members. Forms available on Gale Legal Forms include forms drafted by attorneys for a particular legal matter, as well as forms from public records and participating companies and attorneys. Gale Legal Forms do not include references to statutes, regulations, or court rules.

Pennsylvania Estate Planning
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. Includes forms.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. Use the index to find relevant sections. Select article topics include "Executors and Administrators", "Guardian and Ward", "Trusts", and "Wills".
Also available on the library's Lexis computers and in print.

Onsite Print & Electronic

The following print resources include information regarding estate practice and planning in Pennsylvania. Some resources published by LexisNexis and West/Thomson Reuters may be available on the library's Lexis and Westlaw computers. See below for more information.

Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers.
See chapters 65-90.

Partridge-Remick Practice and Procedure in the Orphan's Court Division, Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers as "Remick's Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Practice".

Pennsylvania Estate Planning and Drafting Bisel
Includes forms. Library also has previous editions: see all.

Pennsylvania Estate Planning, Wills, and Trusts Library: Forms and Practice Manual Data Trace Pub.
Includes forms.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers and the LexisNexis Digital Library.
Use the index to find relevant sections. Select article topics include "Executors and Administrators", "Guardian and Ward", "Trusts", and "Wills". Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Commonplace Book Bisel
Also referred to as Hunter's. Library has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Probate and Estate Administration West/Thomson Reuters
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers. Library also has previous editions: see all.

Pennsylvania Transaction Guide: Legal Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers. Also referred to as Bongiovanni.
See Chapter 60: Estate Planning Guide. Additional information on estate practice and planning may also be found in Wills & Trusts, volumes 5-7 (chapters 60-119).

Standard Pennsylvania Practice West/Thomson Reuters
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
See chapters 141-165. Library also has previous edition: see all.

Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence 2d West/Thomson Reuters
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Probate, Estates, and Trusts, volumes 9-11A. Library also has previous edition.

West's Pennsylvania Forms West
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Estate Planning, Part I: Systematizing Estate Planning (chapters 1-2). Additional information on estate practice and planning may also be found throughout volumes 7-9.

PBI Publications

In conjunction with its continuing legal education courses, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) produces many books each year covering various estate and elder law topics. Some of these concentrate on more specific or unusual areas of the law. When a researcher has difficulty finding an answer in the manuals or form books, it is a good idea to turn to a PBI publication for guidance.

Coordinating Clients' Powers of Attorney, Advanced Directives and Wills and Trusts
Includes forms. Library has previous edition: see all.

Dealing with Financial Institutions in Estates & Elder Law
Includes forms.

Drafting a Last-Minute Estate Plan for a Sick or Dying Client

Elder Law Institute
Library has annual volumes 1998-present.

Estate & Elder Law Symposium
Library has annual volumes 2000-present. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Mechanicsburg versions also available (2010-2017).

Estate Law Institute
Library has annual volumes 1994-present.

Estate Planning for Interests in Mineral Rights
Includes forms.

Estate Planning for the Middle Market Client
Includes forms.

Estate Planning for Veterans Who Are Seniors

Estate Planning for Younger Clients
Includes forms.

Estate Planning in Pennsylvania
Includes forms. Library has previous editions: see all.

Estate Planning in Pennsylvania's Shale Energy Environment
Includes forms.

Fundamentals of Estate Planning
Includes forms. Library has previous editions: see all.

How to Close an Estate: Court Accountings and Family Agreements
Includes forms.

The Intersection of Life & Estate Planning
Includes forms.

My Client's Dead, Now What?
Includes forms. Library has previous editions: see all.

We Are Living (And Dying) in a Digital World: Estate Planning for Digital Assets and Accounts
Includes forms.