How can I get a copy of my grandmother’s Will if the executor is not cooperating?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can I get a copy of my grandmother’s Will if the executor is not cooperating?

I am one of the beneficiaries. The executor is giving us a hard time and will not give us a copy of the Will almost a year after death.

Asked on November 8, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

At this point, the Will should have been filed. If so, then it is now a matter of public record which means that either you or anyone else has the legal right to get a copy of it from the probate court. If it has not yet been filed, then you still have the legal right to see the Will as you are a listed benefciary. It is the executor's duty to give it to you. If the executor won't cooperate, then you may make a formal request to the probate court that you should be allowed to view the Will. Further, you may also have a cause of action to remove the executor for breach of their "fiduciary duty". Since this can all get a bit complicated, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney who can best advise you further.

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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