Is my will on file with the Register of Wills?

Original wills are not filed with the Register of Wills until after death. Before death, wills are usually kept by the person who wrote the will. However, in some instances, the original will may be retained by the attorney who prepared the will or may be held by a bank trust department.

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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?