Do I have a right as a beneficiary to view my father’s Will?

UPDATED: Apr 9, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Apr 9, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I have a right as a beneficiary to view my father’s Will?

I lost my biological father when I was 7 and my stepfather 8 years ago. Both had life insurance policies and a large amount of assets. I’m certain my siblings and I are beneficiares, yet have not received any payout distributions, or assets. My mother states that there will be no distributions until she passes, yet she spends the money as she sees fit and there have been times where the money spent has been done so irresponsibly and quite frankly destructively. Do I have a legal right to view my father’s Will and request to see how their estates are being handled, distributed etc.?

Asked on April 9, 2012 under Estate Planning, Rhode Island


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, let me explain a little how things work in probate with married couples who hold assets jointly.  This really applies to all jointly held assets but with married couples there is a "right of survivorship" that is automatic. Meaning that when one of the parties passes away the property passes from one to the other by operation of law.  It is not part of the probate estate of the person that dies.  So if your parents held property that way it went to your Mom automatically.  Now, any other assets could have passed to you and your siblings through the Will. But she could really be right here: there could be no other ssets than those they held together and so there would only be distribution through her estate when she passes.  If there is a Will and it was probated then it is filed in the Probate court in the county in which your Father resided at the time of his death.  It is a public record and anyone can view 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 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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption