What to do if I’m an only child and my mother passed away a few days ago but my aunt, who has been staying with her, won’t let me see a copy of her Will?

My mother passed on a Tuesday night and she did not tell me until the next day.She also made funeral arrangements without including me.I am disabled and live alone, my mother and I we’re close as she was the only family that lived close to me. Do I have a right to see a copy of her Will? My aunt is avoiding me; she won’t return my calls. She said that my mother left everything to her and I find that hard to believe. My mom was a widow as her husband had passed a couple of years ago. I would appreciate any answers, thank you.

Asked on March 28, 2015 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You are going to need help here from a lawyer but first let me explain some basics.  If your Mother died with out a Will (called intestate) you would be the only person entitled to receive her estate under the intestacy laws. If she had a Will you are entitled to a copy as an heir at law. Now, children can be disinherited under a Will but it has to be done in accordance with the law in your state.  If children are not named or not properly disinherited then an argumant can be made that your Mother was not competant at the time that the Will was executed becuase she did not know "the object of her bounty" which is you and that is a big deal.  The Will could be challenged. Here is what I would do.  I would file to be the Administrator of your Mother's estate as if there were no Will and be appointed as the Personal Rperensetative. If there is a WIll then you Aunt will have to step forward with it.  It forces her hand.  Get someone to help you.  Good luck.


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