An Unprobated Will Is a Dead Letter

So you have been named as the executor or personal representative in your uncles will. Great. Jefferson County Courthouse

Go to his bank and show them the will and try to get his money. Good luck. They will tell you to come back with Letters Testamentary from Superior Court.

Until a court declares the will to be the last will and testament of our departed, it is as dead as they are. In other words, the Court is the only authority for declaring a will should be followed.

Consider other possibilities. What if there are other wills? Maybe the one your uncle left with you is not the last will.  Perhaps there is a codicil. Anyone with an original will must surrender the document to the Court within 30 days of death so these things can be cleared up.

Probate is not a bad thing. Neither is a will. They just have to go together to mean anything.

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2 comments on “An Unprobated Will Is a Dead Letter

  1. Debbie says:

    I’ve been enjoying your easy-to-understand legal posts, though this is the first time I’ve left a comment. Having been a journalist whose chief responsibility was covering courts (mostly criminal, some civil), yours is a good refresher for me!

  2. Glad to hear I make sense. Harder for a journalist I should think: Not having had a mind which was bent and twisted into thinking in terms of crime and personal injury claims before going to work. You are still free to think in terms of hope, beauty and love and that makes talking about the law all the more difficult.

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