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Reading of the Estate Plan: Who Should Meet with the Lawyer?

People often wonder, who should meet with the lawyer for the reading of the estate plan? While the idea of a dramatic reading of will or other estate planning documents in a dimly lit room with family members waiting anxiously may seem like a scene from a movie, the reality is that such readings do not typically occur in Washington State. Thus, it is smart for anyone wondering what to expect with regard to the administration of a loved one’s estate to meet with a knowledgeable Washington estate planning attorney promptly.

Reading of the Estate Plan: Who Should Meet with the Lawyer?

In Washington, the reading of a will is not a formal or required event. Instead, the executor of the will is responsible for distributing the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries. The executor must follow the instructions in the will and distribute the assets according to the wishes of the deceased.

Typically, the executor of the will sends any beneficiaries written notification of their inheritance. This notification will include the details of the inheritance, such as the amount or nature of the asset being inherited. It is important to note that this notification is not the same as the reading of the will. The notification simply informs the beneficiaries of their inheritance and does not involve any discussion of the contents of the will.

That being said, there are certain situations in which it may be appropriate to have a formal reading of the will. For example, if there are multiple beneficiaries who are not in communication with each other, a formal reading of the will may be beneficial to ensure that all beneficiaries are aware of the contents of the will and their respective inheritances.

In such instances, the executor may invite the beneficiaries to attend a formal reading of the will. Typically, this would be done in the presence of an attorney. However, it is important to note that this type of reading is not required by law and is purely optional.

In the absence of a formal reading of the will, the beneficiaries will receive notification of their inheritance in writing from the executor. This notification will outline the details of their inheritance and provide instructions on how to claim it.

In Washington State, the only person who is required to be present during the administration of an estate is the named executor or the court-appointed personal representative. Broadly speaking, the executor or personal representative gathers all of the deceased person’s assets, pays any outstanding debts the deceased person owed, and distributes any remaining property to the deceased person’s beneficiaries.

Talk to an Experienced Washington Estate Planning Attorney Today

While the idea of a dramatic reading of an estate plan may be entertaining, it is not a requirement in Washington State. Instead, beneficiaries are typically notified of their inheritance in writing. If you have questions about your rights with regard to a loved one’s estate, it is smart to speak to an experienced Washington estate planning attorney as soon as possible. Call Gregorek & Associates at 425-284-3450 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.

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