Nowadays do families really sit down for a "reading of the will" wherein some members get a big surprise?  Or is that just in movies?

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  • 3 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've worked in an estates and trusts law firm for 27 years. We have never, not once, had a "reading of the Will" as they do in the movies. 

    When someone dies who was a client of ours, we receive notification from the family member, and file the Will with the Court along with a bunch of paperwork to open the estate, if one exists. 

    Any communication to family members is usually done by email, phone calls, or snail mail, especially from attorneys. A copy of a Will can be sent to a beneficiary named in the Will, but that's about the extent of the family members having access to that information. 

    A Will is public record, so anyone can access it once it's been filed with the probate court. 

  • .
    Lv 5
    3 weeks ago

    I will never know what's in my father's will because his wife thinks that's between her kids that she had from a previous marriage and herself. I will be lucky to find out if and when my father passes away. I hope my father out lives her, right now she's worried that just might happen, and that she will have to give him up into government care. She doesn't want to reunite him with his biological family which he would like. Unfortunately, she has power of attorney over his health and where he lives after her death.

    Some families are really in a horrible quagmire when there is more than one marriage when there's adult stepkids and step grandchildren. She was very accepting of adult stepchildren, but she was furious when the step grandchildren were born.

  • dman63
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Sometimes, but not always.  There weren’t any big surprises at the reading of my mom’s will a few years ago.  My sisters and I all got the same amount, with some also going to my younger sister’s kids towards their college tuition and expenses.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    It occurs, and sometimes there is a surprise.  More often the surprise isn't that some family was shorted, but that the size of the estate was much smaller than anticipated.

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    The probate lawyer, will send individual letters to each one named in the will.

  • susan
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    I believe they did before the pandenic happened, 

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