How can I obtain a copy of a Will?

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How can I obtain a copy of a Will?

My aunt died recently and had a Will; my Brother was her Power of Attorney. I believe I was a beneficiary in the Will. My aunt and I discussed several times her wish was to leave money to myself and my siblings. I have never seen the Will. My brother claims he is following her wishes, however he has not mentioned anything regarding money, and has not distributed any to my siblings or myself. How do I obtain a copy of the Will? Is it true that anything not mentioned in her Will, it will automatically go to him?

Asked on March 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, the POA ended on the day that she died, so your brother has no power under it any longer. If your aunt did have a Will, then you can check with the probate court in the jurisdiction in which she was domiciled. If the Will has been filed, it is now a matter of public record and you can pay a nominal fee and obtain a copy. If it as not yet been entered for probate, then you may be able to still get a copy. if you and your siblings are your aunt's next of kin (i.e. she has not surviving spouse or children), then you are what the law calls 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 "standing" which gives you the right to bring a legal action to view the Will.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, the POA ended on the day that she died, so your brother has no power under it any longer. If your aunt did have a Will, then you can check with the probate court in the jurisdiction in which she was domiciled. If the Will has been filed, it is now a matter of public record and you can pay a nominal fee and obtain a copy. If it as not yet been entered for probate, then you may be able to still get a copy. if you and your siblings are your aunt's next of kin (i.e. she has not surviving spouse or children), then you are what the law calls 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 "standing" which gives you the right to bring a legal action to view the Will. 


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