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WHERE THERE IS A WILL (there is a William)

When a loved one or a close friend dies, our minds immediately start thinking about our loss.  Following that, our thoughts enter into a phase of wondering about whether or not they planned for their business and personal affairs. Many of us consider these issues as still caring for the deceased.

Planning for the here-after might be thought of as a purely religious experience. We ask ourselves if we have acted properly when we were alive and reflect on whether we are at peace with our God as we know him or her. All of that is admirable, but; we all know there are far more corporeal affairs to address. last will image

The other side of the fence presents the administration of an estate. Some people are wonderful about addressing their personal affairs. They have written their wills, crossing their Ts and dotting there Is, making sure the silver goes to a favorite cousin and their car to a nephew.  They may have even been so prepared by administering an advanced medical directive, and have appointed a fair-minded relative or friend who is going to be acting as their executor.

 A huge key is to have an original will, or a certified copy of it, in the hands of others and not just with an attorney.  The deceased person’s attorney might be out-of-town or the country for that matter when needed most. There is even a chance that the attorney may have already died in advance of their client. Having copies handily available to responsible people, especially your executor, is critical.


Probate usually strikes fear in the hearts of many. As a matter of fact, during the 1970s books started surfacing with exotic titles such as “How to Beat Probate.”  It was all the rage and is still a subject of interest.  Even for those who have planned each and every detail could end up with an executor who has died before they have and their will would still fall into Probate Court. Cases routed through the probate process are there regardless of their monetary value.


What is remarkable is the amount of information these files offer a genealogist. Some wills found in the courthouse point to a crisp snapshot of a person’s life. Their specified relatives or loved ones names are there along with their contact information as of the related probate processing timeframe. Also, there is an itemized statement of their worldly possessions, who received them, and their worth.

 That should promise you enough information to make the trip to an associated court house worthy of your invested time. See you at the court house!

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

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