Once you have finalized your Last Will and Testament, do you need to file it anywhere? Atlanta estate planning and probate attorney Sarah Siedentopf provides the answer, in Siedentopf Law’s latest video:
TRANSCRIPT: Hi, I’m Sarah Siedentopf of Siedentopf Law, an estate planning and probate firm in the Brookhaven area of Atlanta, Georgia. The question that I want to address today is, do I need to file my will anywhere? The quick answer is no, you don’t. If you want to, you can file your will in the probate court in the county in which you live. Now, is this a good idea? It depends on who you ask. Not my favorite. It is a very safe place and there’s only a nominal fee.; however; they don’t do anything with it. They aren’t checking the obituaries or in any way hurrying along the process because you filed your will there. In fact, it might actually make things more confusing, because if you do a new will you need to go back to the court and retrieve the old will. Not everybody’s going to do this. Also, your heirs might not know to look there. They may have checked your files at home and your safe deposit box at the bank, and they may not realize to check the probate court. It further complicates matters if you’ve moved. Your will is still valid but it may not be filed in the probate court for the county you live in, so even if your heirs do go check that, they won’t find the will. So, if you’re going to do this, be very sure that people know where your will is filed and that if you update your will, you go back and retrieve the old one. But there’s absolutely no requirement that you do this. Really the only requirement is that you keep your will safe and that people know where to find it when they need it. If you have any other questions, feel free to give me a call.
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