Does a daughter have the right to request a copy of her late father’s Will?

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Does a daughter have the right to request a copy of her late father’s Will?

Does a biological daughter have any rights to request a copy of her late father’s Will? Her farther remarried and his new wife, who was married to him at time of death, will not release the Will. Also, she states that she

is the estate executioner and does not have to release any Will information. The father had become sick in his 70’s and for the past 8 years was not mentally well.

Asked on February 21, 2019 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, but only if she files a legal action (lawsuit). A person with "standing"--a presumed or logical (even if not yet proven) financial interest in a matter, such as a child (who may inherit if there is no will, and who is a logical person to include in a will)--may bring a legal action against the "estate" (the money, assets, etc. left behind) and executor to force the release of the will...and then, if she is included in the will, to force the executor to distribute to her the appropriate share of the estate. Unfortunately, you do need to file the legal action before knowing that you are in the will, so you could go the trouble and cost for no reason; however, a legal action is the only way to force release of the will.
An action like this is substantially more complicated than, say, suing someone in small claims court over an unpaid bill or "fender bender." You are advised to retain an attorney to help you.


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