Updates and Changes in Pennsylvania Estate Planning Laws: What You Need to Know

Estate planning laws are subject to periodic updates and changes, reflecting shifts in societal norms, legal interpretations, and legislative priorities. In Pennsylvania, staying informed about these updates is crucial for ensuring your estate plan remains current and compliant with state regulations. Let’s delve into some recent developments in estate planning laws that you should be aware of.

Digital Estate Planning

With the increasing prevalence of digital assets such as online accounts, cryptocurrencies, and digital media, Pennsylvania lawmakers have recognized the need to address these assets in estate planning. Recent updates to Pennsylvania’s estate planning laws have provided clarity on the treatment of digital assets and the authority of fiduciaries to access and manage them. Including provisions for digital assets in your estate plan can help ensure that these assets are properly accounted for and distributed according to your wishes.

Changes in Tax Laws

Tax laws play a significant role in estate planning, impacting everything from asset distribution to inheritance taxes. In recent years, Pennsylvania has made changes to its tax laws that may affect estate planning strategies. For example, updates to the state’s inheritance tax rates or exemption thresholds could impact the tax implications of your estate plan. It’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to understand how recent changes in tax laws may affect your estate plan and explore potential strategies for minimizing tax liabilities.

Updates to Power of Attorney Laws

Pennsylvania’s Power of Attorney laws govern the authority granted to individuals to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. Recent updates to these laws may impact the validity and enforceability of existing Power of Attorney documents. 

For example, changes in requirements for executing Power of Attorney documents or updates to the powers granted to agents may necessitate revisions to your existing documents. Reviewing and updating your Power of Attorney documents in light of these changes can help ensure your wishes are accurately reflected and legally enforceable.

Long-Term Care Planning

Long-term care planning is an essential aspect of estate planning, particularly for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Recent developments in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid laws or regulations governing long-term care services may impact your eligibility for benefits and the availability of care options. 

Understanding these developments and incorporating long-term care planning into your estate plan can help protect your assets and ensure you receive the care you need as you age.

Guardianship and Conservatorship Laws

Guardianship and conservatorship laws govern the appointment of individuals to make decisions on behalf of incapacitated individuals. Recent updates to Pennsylvania’s guardianship and conservatorship laws may impact the process for appointing guardians or conservators and the rights of individuals subject to guardianship or conservatorship. 

If you’re considering including provisions for guardianship or conservatorship in your estate plan, it’s essential to stay informed about these changes and work with an attorney to ensure that your wishes are properly documented and legally enforceable.


Staying informed about updates and changes in Pennsylvania estate planning laws is essential for maintaining a current and effective estate plan. By understanding recent developments and working with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney, you can ensure that your estate plan reflects your wishes, protects your assets, and complies with state regulations. 

Don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance if you have questions or concerns about recent changes in estate planning laws or their implications for your estate plan.