The Reading of the Last Will
The Fallacy of the “Reading of the Last Will”
In films and television, Hollywood portrays a group of family members sitting in an austere, legal office listening to the attorney giving the official “reading of the Will.”
But this is purely fictional. In Illinois and most States, there is no such official, legal meeting for “the reading of the Will.” The reading of the Will may have been common long ago when many were illiterate and couldn’t read the Will for themselves.
In Illinois, it is the estate attorney’s job to work with the executor advising him or her as to how to administer the estate and fulfill the requirements of the Will, the Court, and Illinois law. The estate attorney and executor work together to notify parties who have legal interests, notify creditors of their rights to file a claim against the estate, and to collect and distribute the assets.
Last Wills are Public Record
In Illinois, the person in possession of a Last Will of a decedent must, within 30 days from the decedent’s date of death, file the Will with the County in which the decedent died. This is why many people will create a living trust - because unlike a Will, a living trust is a private document which is not required to be filed on public record. Once a decedent’s last Will is filed with the County, it becomes public record and is open to be viewed by anyone.
How are Beneficiaries Notified?
Today, rather than reading the last will aloud to the beneficiaries of the Will, instead they are notified in writing of their legal rights by the estate attorney and executor. If the beneficiary’s contact information is unknown, then the estate attorney and executor will publish in a certain newspaper the attorney’s contact information for those heirs or beneficiairies entitled to notice.
All information, materials and links on this website are solely intended for the use of informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice.
Transmitting or viewing the materials on this website does not in any way create an intention on our part, a receipt on your part, or a constitution of an attorney-client relationship with the attorneys at The Law Offices of Hoy & Sahlas, LLC.
We have provided all materials, information and links on this website to individuals or entities interested in obtaining information concerning The Law Offices of Hoy & Sahlas, LLC. and the law firm’s practice areas.
All information contained on our website is published only as general information not specific to individual cases and may not reflect the most recent developments in the law or in a specific location or individual situation.
Materials and information contained on our website is not provided in the course of any attorney-client relationship. The information contained in this Web Site is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor as a substitute for seeking and obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in the viewer’s state.
Anyone viewing this website and the materials and information contained therein should not rely upon or act upon those materials and information without first seeking individual counsel from a licensed attorney in the applicable State. This website is not intended to constitute advertising for The Law Offices of Hoy & Sahlas, LLC. This firm does not seek to represent any person or firm based upon viewing of this website in any State where this website fails to comply with all applicable laws and rules of professional standards/ethical conduct requirements in a given State.