If I believe that my family is lying about my dead father’s Will, how can I find a copy of it?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I believe that my family is lying about my dead father’s Will, how can I find a copy of it?

My father died of A.L.S. 3 years ago. When he learned he was sick he discussed the fact that he had a will, with my brother and myself. Upon his death our mother told us he didn’t. She never went to probate. My father told us he set up a trust for her and the rest was to go to the grandchildren equally. She denies that and has given most of the estate to 1 grandson. In a recent conversation the grandson mentioned “grandpa’s Will” in front of us and she quickly changed the subject. I’m not sure what to do about this.

Asked on August 3, 2012 under Estate Planning, Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for your situation.  If your Father had a Will and it was probated then it would be on file in the county probate court.  It is a public record.  Understand, though, that if he and your Mother held property jointly at the time of his death it passed to her automatically and would not be considered part of his probate estate, regardless of what the Will might say.  This is known as "rights of survivorship" under the law.  If you still believe that there is a Will for other assets then I would speak with a lawyer about your options.  If Dad had a family attorney they may have a copy which would provide some sort of proof here that a Will exists and then you can bring a proceeding against the executor perhaps - probably your mother) to produce it. Good luck.

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for your situation.  If your Father had a Will and it was probated then it would be on file in the county probate court.  It is a public record.  Understand, though, that if he and your Mother held property jointly at the time of his death it passed to her automatically and would not be considered part of his probate estate, regardless of what the Will might say.  This is known as "rights of survivorship" under the law.  If you still believe that there is a Will for other assets then I would speak with a lawyer about your options.  If Dad had a family attorney they may have a copy which would provide some sort of proof here that a Will exists and then you can bring a proceeding against the executor perhaps - probably your mother) to produce it. Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption