As you do your estate planning, you draft a will that leaves your assets to your heirs. Most of the money gets split up evenly, but you do set aside specific sentimental assets for certain individuals. You know how important it is for them to know exactly what you wanted them to have.
To inform them, do you also need to set up a will reading? Does the estate executor need to gather everyone in the same location and tell them what the will says so that there is no dispute?
No, you do not. If you’ve read about this process or seen it in movies and television shows, that’s because people used to have official will readings. Illiteracy was a significant problem and meant that a lot of people couldn’t read the will. Plus, when printed documents were harder to find, there may only have been one copy.
These days, it’s easy enough to simply send a written copy of the will to everyone who is named in it. They all get the information quickly and everyone knows exactly what the will says. This reduces the chances of a dispute. However, they do not have to meet up and do this in person, which would make things far too complicated for some families.
Naturally, they can have a will reading if they want, but it’s not mandatory and most families no longer do it.
Do you have more questions about the estate planning process? Make sure you know exactly what steps you need to take to help everything go smoothly for your heirs.