There’s no shortage of popular myths and misconceptions about the law, but one of the more widely held is the idea that after you die your lawyer will contact all your family members and friends and get them together in a single room so he or she can read them the terms of your last will and testament.
Though this is a very popular myths and often encountered in movies and novels, it is almost completely baseless. The reality is that no one has a reading of the will nowadays. The probate process will require that your state representative file the will with the probate court, and may send copies to your named beneficiaries and legal heirs, but other than that there will be no official reading where the terms are read out loud.
This myth is probably a remnant of earlier times when it was a lot harder to make copies and send them to people. Additionally, literacy rates were much lower in the past, so you couldn’t even be sure that the people who receive the will could read it in the first place.
However, today there is no problem making copies or ensuring that the proper recipients actually get a hold of it. In addition to that, a will, once filed with the probate court, becomes open to public inspection. All anyone has to do to read a will is go down to the county courthouse and look it up. That is why the wills of deceased celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Jacqueline Kennedy were quickly available on the Internet shortly after they were lodged with the probate courts.
Latest posts by Timothy P. Murphy (see all)
- Important Estate Planning Tools for the LGBTQ Community - December 11, 2019
- Don’t Accidently Disinherit Your Children - December 9, 2019
- Your Estate Plan: Get It Into a Writing or Else - December 7, 2019