Friday, July 1, 2022

Reading of the Will: Everything You Need to Know

The concept of the will have been around for a while now. Meanwhile, do you remember the scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where Harry, Ron, and Hermione gather to hear the reading of the will of Albus Dumbledore? It’s a powerful scene but not so fanciful in real life. We get more mundane things like family heirlooms and country houses from Great Aunt Edna, not magical objects from an old wizard. In real life, however, there is no ceremonial will reading. All beneficiaries need not be there when the will’s contents are revealed. 

Who May Obtain a Copy of a Person’s Will? 

A will is a private document that belongs to the testator. It only takes effect at the demise of the testator. No one (without the will-approval) is entitled to a copy of the will before the will-maker’s death. Besides, the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act mandates that a will-maker’s lawyers keep all client-related information secret. 

However, a person’s property attorney or manager can get a copy of the will. Management companies and property attorneys should be aware of the terms of any existing will if they accidentally sell or dispose of an asset that is explicitly bequeathed in the will. 

You may desire to distribute copies of your will while you are still living. These may include the executors listed in your will and your spouse or partner. Instead, you may desire to name the will’s executor, which will save your family from spending time searching for your will after your death. 

How to Determine If You Are Included n a Will 

Many individuals find out they are included in a will either directly from the testator (will writer) before their death or from the estate’s executor after the testator’s death. The executor is responsible for managing the deceased’s estate, including paying taxes and obligations and distributing any inheritance to the proper heirs. If you’re afraid you won’t be informed of your beneficiary status in someone’s will, seek advice on determining if you’re a beneficiary. 

The Executor’s Obligations 

Typically, only the executor will do the reading of one’s will. If they prefer to have someone else read it, they are free to do so; no laws oppose it. Even if it is a family member, the executor has the legal right to deny access to the will, even if they believe it will cause more harm than good. Any inheritor could be barred from viewing or hearing the will for various reasons. The executor will communicate the details of their inheritance. They cannot get a copy of the will or a glimpse of the original; they will learn what they are entitled to. 

Administration of the Estate 

Many individuals believe that once probate is established, one may disperse the estate’s assets instantly. The recommended practice is to wait six months before distributing an estate with the help of real estate attorneys for the reading of the will. This permits the executors to be notified of any claims against the estate, sold property and resolved estate matters. 

In most instances, a claimant must inform the executor of their claim within six months of the granting of probate. Executors may be held personally accountable if a claim is filed within six months after the estate has been dispersed and the estate has already been distributed. In simple estates, however, an early distribution is conceivable if all beneficiaries consent.