How do i find out if my father had a will?

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How do i find out if my father had a will?

My father passed away last year. Before he
died he told me he was leaving me
something. I have no information other than
that. His wife is refusing to talk to me or give
me any information. How do i access his will
and/or find out if i have an inheritance of any
kind?

Asked on June 19, 2018 under Estate Planning, Delaware

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that your father had a Will, then it may have been admitted to probate at this point. If it has, it is now a matter of public record so you have the right to see it; you can get a copy from the probate court for a nominal fee. If for some reason it has not yet been probated, then as your father's 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 (under something known as "intestate succession"). Accordingly, since whether or not there is a Will affects your rights, you have a stake or "standing" in the matter. This gives you the right to bring a legal action to view the Will (however you may not even be named in it since a parent an disinherit a child; also some assets pass outside of probate to the named benenficiares such IRA's, 401's, etc.). If it turns out that your father had no Will, then he died "intestate" which means that as his heir you are entitled to a portion of his estate. You can file an action in the probate court reagrding this. Right now, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney who can best further adivse you.


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