When does a Will go in to effect?

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When does a Will go in to effect?

If I have been given something in a Will when do I take ownership of the item, and when would I be able to sell it to someone else? A relative left me the use of a trademarked musical band name and I want to sell its use to someone else. Can I do it now or do I have to wait until his succession is done and the probate process is finished?

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Estate Planning, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, of course, a will creates no interests whatsoever until the person creating the will (the testator) passes.

Second, however, even after the testator's death, not until the probate process is finished does anyone receiving property under the will have ownership of that property. Prior to probate being concluded, the property is owned by the estate, not by the heirs or beneficiaries, albeit owned by the state subject to the instructions on disposition in the will (e.g. the estate can't sell the trademarked name, since it has been left to you). Only after probate will you have ownership and an interest that can be transfered, unfortunately, so you are going to need to have to wait.


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