Monday, October 24, 2011

Does Your Personal Representative Know Where To Find Your Will?

A will is a guide for the probate court on how you want your probate estate distributed, who should serve as personal representative, and if you have minor children it nominates a guardian. If you take the time and spend the money to complete a will, make certain that it can be found after your death. If not, you've just died without a will!

Last week I learned that an elderly couple I assisted some years ago had both died. Their seven grieving children descended upon the house and were unable to find the wills. I received a panicked call. We needed the original to file with the court, and I encouraged them to look again, this time armed with a description of how I package final papers. To their relief, both wills were found.

Grieving a loved one is hard enough, don't make it any harder by keeping your will so safe that no one can find it. I always encourage clients to tell their personal representative the location of a will, but not the specific contents of the document -- that is private.

As always, I recommend you consult with an estate planning and probate attorney in your home state for legal advice....a blog post is not legal advice.

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