What To Expect During the Reading of a Will

Yee Law Group Inc. > What To Expect During the Reading of a Will

Close Family Members and the Executor Are Named

At the beginning of the will list the deceased’s close family members. A Sacramento estate planning lawyer from Yee Law Group states that anyone listed here will typically receive something in the will. If a person is not going to be receiving anything, their name will likely not be mentioned in this section. The beginning of the will also list the person who will be the executor of the will. The executor of the will is legally responsible for taking care of any remaining financial obligations and for dispersing items as listed in the will. The executor may be expected to post a bond, which protects the estate in case the executor steals the funds of the estate.

The Gifts Will Be Listed

The chances are that the will lists specific gifts that are supposed to go to specific people. Most of the time, though, people do not actually leave specific gifts to certain people. Instead, they leave everything to one person or they split it between several people equally. There are other types of gifts as well, though.

  • Conditional Gifts – Sometimes, there are conditions attached to the items listed in the will. This may be something such as a person getting a certain amount of money once he or she graduates college. However, implementing these gifts can be a headache for the will’s executor.
  • Monetary Gifts – Money that doesn’t come from a particular source may be willed to be as a “general” gift.
  • Personal Effects – Items such as jewelry or designer handbags are considered personal effects and may be willed to one or more people.
  • Residual Gifts – This section is commonly left blank, but residual gifts are gifts left over that don’t quite fit into general or specific categories.

Regardless of what gifts are listed, it may be a good idea to have a Sacramento estate planning lawyer at the will reading if things might get complicated.

The Legalities of Reading the Will

Currently, no state legally requires the will to be read to family members or other beneficiaries. This doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done with the help of a Sacramento estate planning lawyer from Yee Law Group, though. It is still considered good etiquette in most families to read the will. Reading it aloud often avoids hard feelings between beneficiaries and can set the tone for how probate will play out. The executor of the will can gather anyone listed within the will and provide them with copies but should keep in mind that he or she has no legal authority until the will is entered into probate. If everyone cannot meet in person, reading the will over a video conference call is also acceptable.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If your existing estate plan is incomplete or is in need of revision, please connect with the experienced California legal team at Yee Law Group for necessary guidance and support. Similarly, if you have never drafted estate planning documents, it is critically important for you to begin this process. When an estate plan is—in any way—incomplete, it leaves the creator vulnerable in ways that are best avoided.

Few things are more regrettable than an individual not “getting their affairs in order” in ways that properly and enforceable reflect their wishes. This is a preventable circumstance that can lead to unnecessary stress, costs, and a failure to execute an individual’s wishes in the event of their incapacitation or death. Connect with us today to “fill in the gaps” in your estate plan or to begin creating one from scratch. We look forward to speaking with you.