Estate Planning

The Reading Of The Will: When Is It And What Do I Get?

what is a trust

“When is the reading of the Will?”

After someone passes, and after they’ve had services, I often receive a phone call from a client or a family member asking “When is the reading of the Will?” The “Reading of the Will” is a bit of a misnomer. Some may recall that years ago and in older movies, you may see a big ceremony where there was a reading of a Will and people gather around in the lawyer’s office and the Will is read. Some people are happy because they were included, and others are unhappy because they were excluded. This is usually not the case and not the way estates are administered today. I don’t know if estate administration was conducted that way generations ago, but it certainly is not done that way today. Of course if that’s something that you want to do, we can orchestrate a ceremonial reading of your will, however most clients or family members will contact us and ask, “What does the Will say?” Or, “Am I entitled to copies of the Will?”  We are happy to answer basic questions that immediate family members have about the administration of the estate.

When is Probate necessary?

So, it’s important to know that when someone has a Will, it’s not always necessary to probate their Will. Probate is a process that worries many people. If the person who passed only had assets that were held jointly with others, there may never be a need to probate their Will. The work may have already been done in advance through the titling of assets in joint names, transfer on death accounts, etc. When it comes to real property, if someone else is on the deed as a joint owner, then it passes automatically upon death to the survivor designated and there’s no need for an estate process or probate.

How we can help?

We answer these and many other questions regarding wills, trusts and estates. We provide estate planning for clients as well as handle their estates after they have passed. Our firm also handles more complicated estate planning, with lifetime trusts that address complicated issues involving asset protection and long term care planning. If you have Estate Planning needs of any kind, Jim Leonick is the Estate Planning Attorney that you need. We look forward to your questions, and will provide your free 30 minute consultation to discuss your options for estate/asset protection or to explain probate and estate administration after a loved one’s death.

James Leonick

James F. Leonick
Leonick Law, P.L.L.C.
TEL: (631) 486-9500



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