Do I have the right to see my father’s will

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have the right to see my father’s will

My father dies 2 months ago. Now, my stepmother and her children are claiming that they don’t can’t find his Will, although they admit he had one. Do I have the legal right to see it?

Asked on September 30, 2016 under Estate Planning, South Dakota


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A child has the right to see their late parent's Will. This is true either because they are named as a beneficiary (assuming they were not disinherited) or because they are an "interested paty" (i.e. someone who would inherit if there was no Will). That having been said, if his Will cannot be found, then typiclly, you should be entitled to a share of your father's Will since he'll be deemed to have died "intestate" (i.e. without a Will). At this point, you can check to see if your father filed a copy of his Will with the local probate court. It would also be advisable to consult directly with a local attorney as to your rights.

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.

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