Is your Will still legally bound if it is not registered?
According to Robert L. Shepard Professional Law Corporation, registering your Will is not necessary. Some states allow you to deposit a Will with the court for a fee, and there are also plenty of online document registries. The sole purpose of any of these is to keep a document in a safe place so the right people can find it. In Robert’s experience 99.99% of the time, he advises clients to give all the trustees and executors a copy.
What are the benefits to registering your Will?
Robert: Registering your Will provides a safety net just in case your loved ones may not be able to find it in the event of your death. If you move residences frequently or have a tendency of being forgetful, it helps to have your Will registered. If the Will cannot be found and unable to go to Probate, then you will be considered to have died “intestate.” Intestate gives your estate into the control of the state, or court, and out of you and your family’s control.
Where is my Will stored when I have it registered?
Robert: Some states allow for you to store your Will within the court, others do not. If you cannot store your Will with the court, you will need to provide instructions to family members to where your Will is located. If a Will is registered and stored within the hands of the court, your loved ones have to contact the registry to get information to where your Will is kept. If it’s stored within a safety deposit box, you can provide instructions within your registry for where the key is located. This way your family and Executor can find out where your Will is stored so they can then send it to probate court and distribute your property based on your wishes.
Major Takeaway: Make sure that both, your trustee and executor have a copy of your Will.
Robert.L.Shepard offers estate planning legal services designed to avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, protect assets and creating irrevocable trusts.
To learn more about him, visit his website.