How do I find out if my father had a Will and my rights as his child in regards to anything that he had?

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How do I find out if my father had a Will and my rights as his child in regards to anything that he had?

And what are my rights as his child in regards to anything that he had?

Asked on October 24, 2017 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, you can check to see if your father's Will was entered into probate. If it was already filed, then it is now a matter fo public record so you (or anyone else) have a right to see it. Actually, even if it has not yet been entered, you can still obtain a copy since in the eyes of the law you are what is called an "interested party". This is someone who would have inherited if there had there been no Will (pursuant to something known as "intestate succession"). Therefore, since whether or not there is a Will affects your rights, you have "standing" in this. This stake is sufficient to give you the legal right to bring an action in court to view your father's Will. Just be aware, you may have been disinherited. On the other hand, if it is determined that your father did not have a Will, then he died "intestate" which means that as his heir you are entitled to a portion of his estate.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, you can check to see if your father's Will was entered into probate. If it was already filed, then it is now a matter fo public record so you (or anyone else) have a right to see it. Actually, even if it has not yet been entered, you can still obtain a copy since in the eyes of the law you are what is called an "interested party". This is someone who would have inherited if there had there been no Will (pursuant to something known as "intestate succession"). Therefore, since whether or not there is a Will affects your rights, you have "standing" in this. This stake is sufficient to give you the legal right to bring an action in court to view your father's Will. Just be aware, you may have been disinherited. On the other hand, if it is determined that your father did not have a Will, then he died "intestate" which means that as his heir you are entitled to a portion of his estate.


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