Can someone be excluded from being present at the reading of a Will if they are not a relative but believe they are listed in it?

UPDATED: Oct 23, 2014

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Can someone be excluded from being present at the reading of a Will if they are not a relative but believe they are listed in it?

My friend’s partner died (they were not married); the executor is the son’s girlfriend.

Asked on October 23, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your friend's loss. The formality of a reading of the Last Will and Testament has really been done away with in the present day. But if there is one and the partner is excluded, he or she should not despair. If mentioned in the Will a beneficiary MUST receive a copy with either a Citation or Waiver and Release advising the beneficiary that the Will is being offered for Probate - filed with the Probate Court.  If this does not occur then the proposed executor has done her job improperly and your friend will have cause against her.  ALso, a Will is a public document once it is filed and anyone can read it.  Good luck.

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