If I have never seen my deceased mother’s Will, can I get a copy?

My mom changed her original about 2 years before she passed away and also changed at least the Healthcare power of attorney but I never notified and never saw the Will nor was it read. I did receive a small life insurance policy but I wonder what my sister is trying to hide. How can I get those copies. I do not think it went to probate not unless it has to it was a private will pretty cut and dry so I think.

Asked on March 23, 2019 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

First of all, a Will need not be formally "read" in the presence of the benefciairies, etc. That's the stuff for movies and TV shows. The executor can perform their duties without such a formality. As for being able to view your mother's Will, you have every right as her child. You are what the law calls an "interested party", since if there is no Will or if it was not legally executed, then as a child you would be your mother's "heir" under the law of "intestate succession" (i.e. the law that governs who inherits a person's estate if they die without a legal Will). Additionally, if the Will has been entered into probate you (or anyone else) can get a copy of it from the probate court since it is now a matter of public record.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

First of all, a Will need not be formally "read" in the presence of the benefciairies, etc. That's the stuff for movies and TV shows. The executor can perform their duties without such a formality. As for being able to view your mother's Will, you have every right as her child. You are what the law calls an "interested party", since if there is no Will or if it was not legally executed, then as a child you would be your mother's "heir" under the law of "intestate succession" (i.e. the law that governs who inherits a person's estate if they die without a legal Will). Additionally, if the Will has been entered into probate you (or anyone else) can get a copy of it from the probate court since it is now a matter of public record.


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