Can I send a copy of the will to my brother before filing a petition for probate?

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Can I send a copy of the will to my brother before filing a petition for probate?

My father died a few weeks ago and my brother is pushing to see the will. He
lives in texas but my dad lived in NY. Originally he was executor of the will but
my father changed it in 2012 and made me executor because I lived with him and
took care of him.

Asked on February 18, 2017 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can send a copy of the will to your brother before filing a petition. A will is not a confidential document in the sense of, say, certain health information; there is no law preventing an executor from sharing it with any "interested party," like another family member (i.e. with anyone who has a legitimate interest in seeing it)--or indeed, with anyone with whom the executor believes it would be beneficial to share the will. (Remember: once it is filed, it becomes public court document anyway.)


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