When you pass away, your estate attorney will send out copies of your Last Will and Testament to all interested parties. when your Will is filed in a court of law during probate, it will become public record, so anyone can see it, but only those your attorney deems necessary will be sent a copy.
The person you name in your Will as your estate executor or personal representative will most likely be the first person to receive a copy. Your representative will use your Will to pay your final debts, follow any special instructions you leave, and pass property out to your chosen heirs.
Anyone you name in your Will to receive an asset is considered a beneficiary. Your attorney will send a copy of your Will to every listed beneficiary. This will help each recipient understand what he or she will receive and possibly why.
Your attorney may also choose to send a copy toany heirs at law that were not included in your Will, or any beneficiaries in previous Wills, who are not included now. Your attorney may do this if a possible challenge to the Will exists. Once those not included in the Will receive a copy, they have only a short amount of time to file a challenge.
If you have a Revocable Living Trust, you will name a successor trustee to care for your trust holdings. This trustee, assuming he or she is not the estate executor, will also get a copy of your Will. Your trustee must work with your executor to transfer all unfunded items into your Living Trust.
It is best to have an estate accountant to assist with handling estate funds for paying debts, paying taxes and passing out financial assets to heirs. This accountant should receive a copy of the Will in order to better comprehend the financial status of the estate.
IRS and State Tax Authority
If the estate will owe federal or state taxes, then a copy of the Will must be sent to the IRS and to a state tax representative.
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