What Comes Next If You Are in the Will?

May 9, 2018 | Estate Adminitration, Estate Law, Probate, Will

A great deal of the process in settling a will depends on your state of residence.

Recently deceased actor John Mahoney left a $5 million estate and 38 possible beneficiaries. If you were one of the 38 notified that you could potentially benefit from the will, you would need to know what to expect from the probate process, according to Market Watch in “What to do if you’re like one of ‘Fraiser’ dad John Mahoney’s 38 beneficiaries.”

The answer to what to expect of the probate process? It depends.

State laws vary greatly about how the probate process is conducted. Your first question might be what you can expect to receive from the estate.  However, that can take a long time to sort out. In some states, you can ask the probate court for a copy of the will that was filed. This might at least give you a general idea.

However, in other states, it is left to the discretion of the appointed executor whether to let people see the will. However, what the will says you should inherit might not be what you actually receive. Other people and creditors might file claims against the estate.

An estate planning attorney could advise you, if you become a potential beneficiary of an estate.

Reference: Market Watch (March 29, 2018) “What to do if you’re like one of ‘Fraiser’ dad John Mahoney’s 38 beneficiaries.”