Looking Over the Will

Just what kind of will are you dealing with?

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After you've found the will, your next task is to take a look at it, to see whether it's really a legally valid, binding document under state law. Most wills are a standard typed document, full of legal terms and signed by witnesses--but some handwritten wills are legal, too.

As an executor, the will is your starting point. To begin with, it probably names you to serve as executor. It also contains the instructions you'll follow when it comes to paying debts and distributing property to beneficiaries.

Serving as Executor? Nolo Can Help.

Find a local lawyer for advice or handle the estate yourself with nolo's award winning do-it-yourself legal books.

The Executor's Guide

The Executor's Guide

Settle an estate or trust with this all-in-one guide for executors. The Executor's Guide will help you make progress one step at a time through the unfamiliar land of legal procedures and terminology.

The Trustee's Legal Companion

The Trustee's Legal Companion

Learn the ins and outs of being a trustee with this guide for every trust administrator. The Trustee’s Legal Companion shows you exactly how to proceed within the terms of the trust and your state's law.

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