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Home > Blog > Estate Planning > Who Should Get A Copy Of A Will?

Who Should Get A Copy Of A Will?


When a loved one passes, a legally valid and updated will helps to convey their final wishes. As one of the most important yet basic of estate planning tasks, it provides an inventory of all their property and assets and dictates how these should be distributed to beneficiaries. Who should get a copy of the will? Generally, it is those people and organizations that have a practical interest in the person’s estate and how it is divided.

Five People Who Need A Copy Of A Will

When someone creates a will, a copy is generally kept by the estate planning attorney who guided them in creating it and by the person in question, often in both their home filing system and in a safe deposit box. In the event of their death, copies will need to be distributed to the following people:

  1. The executor of their estate. This is the person you select in advance to act as your estate administrator. They will need to file your will with the New York Probate Court and perform all the various tasks related to closing the estate.
  1. The beneficiaries. These are the people and groups listed in your will who are due to inherit property or assets in the event of your death. This allows friends, family members, non-profit groups, or others you have named to see exactly what shares of your estate they are entitled to.
  1. Heirs to your estate.

Under the New York Probate Code, certain family members are legally entitled to inherit from your estate. This includes spouses, children, parents, siblings, or others.  Even if you have specifically excluded them from your will, they should still be provided a copy to prevent them from contesting it. 

  1. Estate accountants.

If you have an accountant, you will want to ensure they get a copy of your will. They will need it to determine what powers the executor has in managing your estate and in handling any creditor claims or debts owed.

  1. Trustees.

Creating a trust allows you to better manage how property and assets are distributed to beneficiaries. It also exempts this property from probate court proceedings. However, your trustee will need to be provided with a copy of your will. In some cases, certain assets contained within a will are transferred automatically into the trust in the event of death.

In addition to the above, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will also need a copy of your will. This should be provided to them by your estate administrator when filing final tax returns and settling any taxes owed by your estate.

Let Us Help You Today

At Cavallo & Cavallo, we provide the trusted legal guidance you need in creating a will, trust, and other important estate planning documents. These play an important role in helping to ensure both you and your loved ones are protected. To request a consultation in our office, call or contact our Bronx & Westchester estate planning attorneys online today.



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