Once somebody dies, their written will becomes a public document. The executor of the will then files the document with the probate court and notifies all beneficiaries listed in the will. If you’re interested in knowing if you’re a beneficiary of a family member’s will, you can review the will at the courthouse or contact the will’s executor. You might not know the steps involved in reviewing a will or how you can contact the executor.

How Do I Review the Will?

First, you should find the court with probate jurisdiction over your family member’s will. This is usually the court in the county in which he or she lived at the end of life. Call the probate court in that county and find out if the probate is processing there; if not, call probate courts in other counties that the deceased lived in. Once you visit the court, you can ask to see your relative’s probate documents. The court clerk will probably ask for some information, such as your family member’s name, date of death, and the probate number. Review the probate file and find the last will and testament which you’ll be able to read if you’re a beneficiary.

How Can I Contact the Will’s Executor?

If you can’t easily visit the probate court, you can contact the executor directly and ask him or her if you are a beneficiary of your family member’s will. The executor is the individual appointed by the court to administer the will through the probate process. If you don’t know the executor’s contact information, ask your family members for their information. You can also call the probate court for the executor’s name and phone number. The executor can also give you a copy of the will so you can verify any information.

Estate planning is an important process, and it requires many steps and people to carry out successfully. Brandon Erickson is an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you through the process, whether you’re a beneficiary or a will maker. Contact him today to speak with an estate planning professional.