How can we get a copy of a will for a deceased parent without going through the executor.

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2009

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How can we get a copy of a will for a deceased parent without going through the executor.

My wife’s father died. Her brother was the executor and said everything had been left to him. Is the will a public record after death? How can we obtain a copy of the will without causing grief by going through my brother-in-law?

Asked on July 6, 2009 under Estate Planning, Texas


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I see your dilemma.  The will becomes part of the public record when it is filed with the probate court.  Check with the court and see if he's already done that.  If there is no record of a probate having been opened, you may need to contact your brother-in-law in the end.  There will be no other way to get a copy unless you know who the attorney was who prepared the will.  The attorney typically keeps a copy.

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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