How can I obtain a copy of my parents Will?

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How can I obtain a copy of my parents Will?

My mother passed away about 1 1/2 years ago. My father passed away several months later. I have never received any information pertaining to my rights.

Asked on December 21, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, I assume that you have asked the executor for a copy and have been denied. However, since so much time has passed, the Will has most likely been admitted to probate; if it has it is now a matter of public record so you (or anyone else fot that matter) has a right to see it. If for some reason it has not yet been probated then, since you are their child, you can still get a copy of the Will since you are what the law terms an "interested party". This is someone who would have inherited if there had there been no Will (pursuant to something known as "intestate succession"). Accordingly, since whether or not there is a Will affects your rights, you have a stake or "standing" in this. This stake gives you the right to bring a legal action to view their Will. You should note, however, that you may not even be named in their Will. The fact is that a parent an disinherit a child. Also, some assets pass outside of probate to the named benenficiares such proceeds from  IRA's, certain bension benefits, 401's, etc. Finally, if it turns out that they had no Will, then they died "intestate" which means that as their heir you are entitled to a portion of their estate.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, I assume that you have asked the executor for a copy and have been denied. However, since so much time has passed, the Will has most likely been admitted to probate; if it has it is now a matter of public record so you (or anyone else fot that matter) has a right to see it. If for some reason it has not yet been probated then, since you are their child, you can still get a copy of the Will since you are what the law terms an "interested party". This is someone who would have inherited if there had there been no Will (pursuant to something known as "intestate succession"). Accordingly, since whether or not there is a Will affects your rights, you have a stake or "standing" in this. This stake gives you the right to bring a legal action to view their Will. You should note, however, that you may not even be named in their Will. The fact is that a parent an disinherit a child. Also, some assets pass outside of probate to the named benenficiares such proceeds from  IRA's, certain bension benefits, 401's, etc. Finally, if it turns out that they had no Will, then they died "intestate" which means that as their heir you are entitled to a portion of their estate. 


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