If I was named in a Will but not given a copy of it by my sibling who has a copy, what are my rights?

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If I was named in a Will but not given a copy of it by my sibling who has a copy, what are my rights?

My sister is the executor.

Asked on February 3, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can check if the Will has been admitted to probate. If so, it is now a matter of public record so you (or anyone else) has a right to see it. If for some reason it has not yet been probated, then since you are a child of the deceased, you can still get a copy of the Will because under the law you are an "interested party". This is someone who would have inherited if there had there been no Will (pursuant to something known as "intestate succession"). Consequently, since whether or not a Will exists affects your rights, you have a stake or "standing" in the matter. Accordingly, this stake gives you the right to bring a legal action to view the Will. However, you should note, that you may not even be named in thec Will. The fact is that a parent an disinherit a child. Additionally, certain assets pass outside of an estate to the named benenficiares. For example, proceeds from  IRA's, some pension benefits, 401's, etc. 


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