We’ve all seen the movie. A relative passes away, and the surviving loved ones silently sit in an office as the attorney for the deceased reads the “Last Will and Testament” out loud. Welcome to Hollywood!
In actuality, there is no formal “reading of the Will.” Rather, when someone passes away, the Will is “admitted” to probate court, at which time the court appoints an Executor who is responsible for settling the estate. (Typically, the Executor was named by the deceased in his/her Will.)
Within 60 days of having been appointed, the Executor must notify all next of kin and beneficiaries named in the Will that the Will has been probated, and that an Executor has been appointed (name and contact information included). Included with this notification will be a copy of the Will or information regarding how to obtain a copy. This is a key step in the process and one that is very important for your purposes. While there is no formal “reading of the Will,” if you are a beneficiary, this is how you will be officially notified. And, since you will have access to a copy of the Will, you’ll know the details pertaining to you.
Sorry to disappoint those of you who love the “reading of the Will” suspense. There’s always the movies!
Getting Legal Help
Experienced Estate Planning Attorney, Elga Goodman, can assist you with all aspects of Wills and estate planning. Contact us today at 973-841-5111.
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