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Finding out who is listed in a will

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2022 | ESTATE PLANNING - Estate Administration & Probate

The California estate planning process often includes numerous legal documents. There are no rules regarding which documents must be included in a specific plan and one person might choose to execute one or more documents that another estate owner deems irrelevant in his or her own situation. One of the most common types of estate planning documents is a last will and testament.  

The primary purpose of this document is to establish in writing how a testator (person executing the will) wants his or her assets to be distributed. Many people wonder, however, how they are supposed to know whether they have been listed in someone’s will. There are several things to know about the topic. 

In most cases, a copy of the will is sent to all beneficiaries 

After someone dies, a copy of any last will and testament is typically sent by the executor of the estate to each beneficiary. By reviewing the copy, a beneficiary can also confirm the identity of the person named as the executor of the estate. This is the person who has been chosen to settle the estate under the supervision of the probate court.  

Is a reading of a will still relevant in the modern world? 

Neither California nor any other state requires a last will and testament to be read aloud with all beneficiaries present in the room. However, this is still often done if there is a dispute or question between heirs regarding the terms of a will. A beneficiary can seek legal support if a problem arises that he or she does not feel equipped to handle alone.