Post Probate

After the testator has died, a probate proceeding may be initiated in court to determine the validity of the will or wills that the testator may have created, i.e., which will satisfied the legal requirements, and to appoint an executor. In most cases, during probate, at least one witness is called upon to testify or sign a "proof of witness" affidavit. In some jurisdictions, however, statutes may provide requirements for a "self-proving" will (must be met during the execution of the will), in which case witness testimony may be forgone during probate.  If the will is ruled invalid in probate, then inheritance will occur under the laws of intestacy as if a will were never drafted.  Often there is a time limit, usually 30 days, within which a will must be admitted to probate.  Only an original will can be admitted to probate in Rhode Island – even the most accurate photocopy will not suffice.

There is no legal requirement that a will be drawn up by a lawyer, although there are pitfalls into which home-made wills can fall. The person who makes a will is not available to explain him or herself, or to correct any technical deficiency or error in expression, when it comes into effect on that person's death, and so there is little room for mistake.

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Law Offices of Joseph J. Voccola, Esq.

454 Broadway
Providence, RI 02909
Phone: 401-751-3900
Fax: 401-751-8983
Email: joevoccola@joevoccolalawoffices.com

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