Legal Blog

Having A Properly Prepared And Signed Will Is Important

From The Desk Of Herb Fineburg

SignatureThe oldest last wishes or last will and testament is thousands of years old.  “In about 1800 B.C., two Egyptian brothers wrote their last wishes in hieroglyphics that were later found by archaeologists in the 19th Century.” After the Egyptians, there was widespread use of last wills during the Roman Empire. Under the Code of Justinian adopted in the fifth century A.D., Roman law had advanced to the point where specific requirements were established for publishing a last will, otherwise the will would be invalid. Today, all states have rules for executing a “self-proving” will which can be accepted by the court for probating your estate.  It is important to avoid your estate being ensnarled in court litigation over the proper signing of your will and avoiding any ambiguities in the meaning of the provisions in your will.  For these and other reasons, preparing your own will is often a very risky option, which could result in very expensive and time consuming court litigation payable from your estate.  Probate court litigation is very expensive, and most often leaves your assets tied up in court for many years inaccessible to your family and other heirs.  A properly executed and clearly prepared Last Will and Testament should be handled by an attorney experienced in estate and tax planning.  For those of you who have your own business, an estate planning attorney with business planning experience is recommended.


Mr. Fineburg concentrates his practice in the areas of Business Law and Transactions, Mergers and AcquisitionsEstate planningEstates and Trusts,  and Tax Consulting. He is recognized as one of Philadelphia’s most respected business lawyers whose substantial knowledge of tax law provides clients with strategic and cost-saving benefits in connection with commercial transactions, taxation and wills, trusts and estates matters. Known for his ability to resolve complicated matters effectively, Mr. Fineburg has assisted businesses and individuals with the organization of their finances, business and real estate affairs, and the structure of their assets (i.e., in LLCs, partnerships, corporations, trusts or joint ownership). He has substantial expertise in the preparation of buy-sell agreements for co-owners who are family members or are unrelated business partners. In addition, to working on bank financings, business contracts and employment matters for his business clients, Mr. Fineburg also provides advice on business acquisitions and sales, and the resolution of shareholder and partner disputes and buy-outs. You can connect with Offit Kurman via FacebookTwitterGoogle+YouTube, and LinkedIn.