Frequently Asked Questions
for Alan I. Farber in Pittsburgh, PA
Serving the Southern PA Region

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View frequently asked questions for Alan I. Farber in Pittsburgh, PA. A trusted attorney with over 29 years of experience, I am here to help answer your elder law questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you die without a will, Pennsylvania law on intestacy determines how your estate will be distributed. For example, under the law, if you own property in your name only and you die leaving surviving children or a surviving parent, your spouse would only receive the first $30,000 plus one-half of the remaining estate. Furthermore, your heirs would have to agree who should be in charge of the estate. When you make a will you decide who inherits and who is in charge.

A durable power of attorney (POA) is probably the single most important paper to have. This is the paper that allows your family to take care of you in the event that you are no longer able to take care of yourself.  Without a POA, your family would have to get court permission – in a “guardianship proceeding” – to use your money. This includes using money to pay your bills. 


They will also need permission to make medical decisions on your behalf. If your family is not in agreement, the court will appoint some third party – not a family member – to make decisions for you.  When you make a power of attorney you designate the person who will make decisions on your behalf.

A Living Will is a document that provides instructions for your doctors and family about your wishes and desires about the type of life-sustaining medical care you want to receive if you become unable to communicate such decisions and there is no hope of recovery from a terminal condition.

If tragedy strikes both you and your spouse, the care and upbringing of your minor or dependent children could be determined by a court. One of the reasons a Will is so important for parents is so that the parents can select the person(s) who will raise the minor children. This person is termed the “guardian”.  


The parents can also select the person(s) who will be the “trustee”. The trustee is in charge of the minor or dependent child’s finances. A supplemental needs or special needs trust may be necessary if the family member cannot manage their own affairs or receives government assistance. This will protect the person’s assets or inheritance.

Check out frequently asked questions for Alan I. Farber in Pittsburgh, PA.