Do I have the legal right see to my late father’s Will?

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Do I have the legal right see to my late father’s Will?

My father passed away a few months ago. My stepmother and half sisters and brother say that I’m not in the Will. I have asked to see it but they have denied me. My stepmother is giving all the siblings my father’s possessions. Everybody is mad at me for asking to see a copy of the Will. Do I have a legal right to see or have a copy of the Will? He lived in IN.

Asked on July 31, 2017 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can check to see if your father's Will has entered into probate. If it has been filed, then it is a matter of public record which means that you (or anyone else for that matter) has a right to see it. If it has not yet been entered, you can still obtain a copy. This is because in the eyes of the law you are what is called an "interested party". In other words, someone who would have inherited if there was no Will (pursuant to something known as "intestate succession"). Therefore, since whether or not a Will exists affects your rights, you have a stake or "standing" in this, which is sufficient to give you the right to bring a legal action to view the Will. 


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