Beneficiaries are often notified when a family member dies

| Feb 21, 2020 | Wills |

A will allows a deceased person to dictate what happens to his or her assets after passing. In Michigan and most other states, the will is verified during probate. The document can also name the executor of the estate as well as who would look after a minor child if the other parent is unable to. It is important for beneficiaries to understand that will readings generally don’t take place in the 21st century.

There is no requirement to have a will reading, and they were conducted in the past because many people were unable to read what the will said on their own. Typically, anyone named as a beneficiary in a will is sent a copy of the document to review on his or her own. Those who are beneficiaries of a trust created by a pour-over will could receive a copy of that document.

A will is generally entered into the public record during the probate process. Therefore, anyone can look to see if they were named in it and find out other details about a deceased person’s estate. Therefore, someone who was disinherited could discover that a family member has passed and challenge the validity of the will. In some cases, the executor will send a copy of the will to anyone who was written out of the document.

For many, wills could be sufficient to meet their estate planning needs. Those who have created a will may want to review it regularly to ensure that it still reflects their final wishes. Individuals who wish to disinherit a spouse or family member may want to discuss their options with an attorney. State law may dictate that a spouse or child are entitled to assets unless steps are taken to prevent this from happening.