A will refers to that document written by someone expressing how he/she wants his/her estate distributed after death. The term estate refers to property. The person writing a will is known as a testator, if male, and testatrix if female.
On the will are details of who gets what, how and when. If you have been named in a past will then you are a beneficiary. A will also includes the name of an executor. This is the person entrusted with the duty of making sure all instructions on the document are followed. Executors make sure you get your rightful share at the stipulated time.
Reading of a will
Despite the fact that you are a close family member of the deceased, they might not have named you as a beneficiary. On the other hand, you could end up receiving only a small fraction of what you had expected. There is only one way of knowing this; being present when the will is being read out. However, unlike in the past when all family members had to gather in an attorney’s office and listen to an oral reading, that has now changed. Instead, attorneys prepare copies of the will and send them to beneficiaries to read on their own.
Who is entitled to receive copies?
It is upon the attorney with the custody of the will to determine who gets a copy. Nevertheless, anyone named in the will has the right to receive a copy. You can also find more details about this on disputingwills.co.uk. In the event of a beneficiary who happens to be a trust, the trustee should get a copy. Therefore, contrary to what you see in movies, reading aloud of wills now belongs to the past. This was done for the sake of family members who were illiterate and could not read on their own. Times have now changed and most people can read. The presence of technology such as the internet, computers, laptops and tablets has made the work of estate attorneys easy.
This happens when a person named in a prior will is not named in the later one. If an estate attorney feels that a disinherited beneficiary will contest the current will, he/she should send him a copy. Doing so also helps limit the time frame needed to file a will contest. However, the estate attorney is under no obligation to send copies of the current will to disinherited persons.
Sending copies of wills allows for beneficiaries to read the contents at their own time. It is convenient as compared to gathering everyone in an office. Nonetheless, if the attorney prefers to read it aloud, he can proceed to do so.
Once a will becomes effective, its contents become a matter of public record. It is no longer a closely guarded secret. The question of hiding a will’s contents to anyone considered a threat does not arise. Such can still obtain the will.
Bio: Visit disputingwills.co.uk for more details on disclosure of will contents, filing a dispute thereof and how you can obtain legal assistance.