Have You Been Named in the Will?

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Have You Been Named a Beneficiary in a Trust?....5

If you are a beneficiary in a will, you will most likely receive notice after the will is entered in probate court. Learn what to do if you have been named in a will from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Part of the Video Series: Estate Planning
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Video Transcript

The way you find out if you've been named in the will, can be a little dicey. A lot of states don't provide for the heirs to get any notice, frankly, until they're sent a check by the executor, or the administrator, if somebody dies without a will, but they don't know until they get a check, and if they don't get a check, they may not know ever, that they may have been in the will, and for some reason, the executors have absconded with the funds, or just not paid the money over, the way it should have been paid. More and more states, however, require that all the beneficiaries under a will, be notified within a certain period of time, of the will being filed for probate, so if you are a beneficiary under a will, and you live in a state where notice is required to the beneficiaries, then you may get a notice, saying hey, you're a beneficiary under the deceased will. You're going to be entitled to some money, maybe. We have to see what the taxes are, and we have to see what the bills are, but once we're done paying the bills and the taxes, you may be entitled to some money. If you're not in a state that requires notice, then frankly, you're going to have to be very alert. You're going to have to understand which county typically, the deceased passed away in. That county will be the place normally, where the probate needs to be filed. You may have to do an internet search. You may have to call different counties to figure out, where it might be pending. Typically, there's a fairly long period of time, before the executor has to file the will for probate. In Texas, it's up to four years after the death, so it's not a very safe, and it's not a very effective system. The states that are providing notice, are doing a much better job.

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