The Hive Law

When Does The Reading Of The Will Take Place?

When Does The Reading Of The Will Take Place - Reading Of A Will - How Long After Death Is A Will Read - When Is A Will Read

When does the reading of the will take place? 

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • how long after death is a will read
  • who contacts beneficiaries of a will
  • how to find out if you are a beneficiary in a will
  • what to do with a will when someone dies
  • how long is a will valid after death
  • when does the reading of the will take place

Let’s dig in.

When the courts appoint an administrator to an estate, they can choose anyone. This includes creditors or third-party companies. Meaning you and your family lose all control over the estate.

If you want to create a will for your estate or file a petition to become the administrator of an estate, fill out the form below for a free consultation. 

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How Does A Will Work?

Before we talk about when does the reading of a will take place, let’s talk about how does a will work

A will establishes how someone wants their estate to get distributed

The will identifies the beneficiaries of the estate. 

And it states what each beneficiary should receive from the estate. 

A will also names the executor of the estate. 

And if there are children, it names their guardians

Related: Can The Executor Of A Will Take Everything

What Does Reading Of A Will Mean?

Reading of a will means that the estate planning attorney reaches out to the beneficiaries. 

And notifies them of the terms of the will, including:

Years ago, will attorneys would gather the all the heirs in their office. 

And they would read the will to them. 

But nowadays, the attorneys reach out to the heirs over phone or email. 

And let them know the terms of the last will and testament

Related: What If The Executor Does Not Probate The Will

How Does A Will Work After Death?

Let’s talk about how does a will work after death. 

And what you need to do to probate the will and distribute the inheritance

After the death of the testator, the executor needs to file the will with the probate courts

The will can get filed at any time after death as long as it’s within the state’s time limits

For example, you have 18 months to file a will after someone passes away in Georgia. 

And from the date of filing, you have 5 years to probate a will in Georgia

After that 5 years is up, the will becomes invalid

And the remaining estate gets split up per intestate laws

After you file the will with the local probate courts, you:

  • verify the signatures of the testator and witnesses
  • locate the self-proving affidavit
  • contact the witnesses
  • find the executor
  • verify the beneficiaries
  • hire a probate lawyer
  • file the petition for probate
  • swear in the executor
  • pay of debts and creditors
  • distribute the estate
  • close the estate

Related: What Happens If A Will Is Not Probated

When Does The Reading Of The Will Take Place?

You’re wondering when does the reading of the will take place. 

Let’s dig more into the reading of the will and what it means for the beneficiaries. 

When Is A Will Read?

There is no such thing as “the reading of a will.”

Instead, when someone passes away, the will is filed with the probate courts

At this time, the courts appoint the executor who is responsible for settling the estate. 

The executor is the one named in the will. 

Within 60 days of being appointed, the executor must notify the heirs that the will has been probated. 

And the executor must provide them with a copy of the will

Beneficiaries getting a copy of the will replaces the reading of a will.

This is important if you’re wondering when does the reading of the will take place. 

Beneficiaries getting copies is the formal process of reading the will now.  

Related: Consequences Of Not Probating A Will

How Long After Death Is A Will Read?

If you’re a beneficiary, you’re probably wondering how long after death is a will read

So that you know what you, and others, are inheriting from the estate. 

This probate timeline varies with each state. 

But executors have a time limit to file the will with the probate courts after death. 

For example, here are the time limits for an executor to file a will in a couple of states:

  • Oregon has no time limit
  • Texas has 4 years 
  • Georgia has 1.5 years
  • Florida is 10 days
  • California has 30 days
  • New York has one year
  • Tennessee has 60 days

So, how long after death a will is read depends on the state you’re in

It could be as little as 10 days before the will is read. 

Or it could be years before the will gets read. 

Related: Consequences Of Not Probating A Will

Where Are Wills Read?

Wills are read in the probate courts. 

After a will gets filed, the courts will read the will. 

They will appoint the designated executor and have them read the will to the beneficiaries. 

Related: Can An Executor Override A Beneficiary

Reading Of A Will After Death

We know that the reading of a will after death is not a thing. 

But the executor and beneficiaries still need to get notified. 

If the reading of a will doesn’t take place, what can you expect? 

How do you learn about being a beneficiary?

Related: What An Executor Cannot Do

Who Contacts The Beneficiaries Of A Will?

It is the executor’s responsibility to contact the beneficiaries of a will. 

The executor must contact the beneficiaries and notify them that the will has been filed for probate. 

And this must be done early in the probate process

So that the beneficiaries have enough time to contest a will if needed. 

Related: Penalty For Stealing From An Estate

If You Are Named In A Will Do You Get A Copy?

Yes, if you are named in a will, you should get a copy of the will

All beneficiaries named in a will are entitled to receive a copy of the will. 

What To Do With A Will When Someone Dies

Wondering what to do with a will when someone dies?

The first thing you should do is locate the will

Then you need to review the signatures of the testator and the witnesses

Reach out to the witnesses because the probate courts will want them to show up in court

If a self-proving affidavit was signed, you don’t have to locate the witnesses

This affidavit is notarized, which proves the validity of the will. 

After this, you need to file a petition to probate a will. 

You’ll file the will with the petition for probate together at the probate court. 

Related: Do Wills Have To Be Probated

How Long Is A Will Valid After Death?

How long is a will valid after death is a state-specific topic. 

For example, the will is only valid for 5 years after death

After the will becomes invalid, the estate gets distributed per intestate laws

This is true in any state. 

It’s hard to say how long a will is valid for after death in each state. 

You’ll have to dig into the probate laws for your state

Related: Can The Executor Sell A House That Is In Probate?

How To Find Out If You Are A Beneficiary In A Will

If there is an estate attorney handling probate, then the attorney will notify the beneficiaries

And they will send the beneficiaries a copy of the will. 

If there is not an attorney, the executor will is required to notify the beneficiaries. 

Let’s say you’re worried that no one will notify you that you’re the beneficiary. 

And you’re not sure when does the reading of the will take place.

Wills become a public record once it’s filed with the probate courts

You can go to the courthouse and ask to see the will

Related: Executor Not Communicating With Beneficiaries

When Does The Reading Of The Will Take Place

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We also make sure that the probate process is smooth and fair.

This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.

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Talk soon.

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