What can I do if I want a copy of my father’s Will but I get one?

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What can I do if I want a copy of my father’s Will but I get one?

I have asked the executor and my stepmother but have been denied.

Asked on May 16, 2019 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

As a general rule, non-beneficiaries are not entitled to view a decased's Will. However, even if an executor declines to give someone a copy of a Will, they can still see it if it has been entered into probate. This is because at that point it becomes a matter of public record and can be viewed by anyone. If you're in fact mentioned in the Will then the executor will have to give you notice of this; it's the law. That having been said, you should be aware that disinheriting a child is legal. Finally, even if you are not listed as a benefciairy, you can still obtain a copy. That is because you are what is known as an "interested party" who is anyone who is an immediate family member of the deceased. This is because they stand to inherit if there is no Will, therefore they are entitled to see a copy to verify if one actually exists. Here is a link to a site that will explain further: https://law.freeadvice.com/estate_planning/wills/will-copy.htm

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

As a general rule, non-beneficiaries are not entitled to view a decased's Will. However, even if an executor declines to give someone a copy of a Will, they can still see it if it has been entered into probate. This is because at that point it becomes a matter of public record and can be viewed by anyone. If you're in fact mentioned in the Will then the executor will have to give you notice of this; it's the law. That having been said, you should be aware that disinheriting a child is legal. Finally, even if you are not listed as a benefciairy, you can still obtain a copy. That is because you are what is known as an "interested party" who is anyone who is an immediate family member of the deceased. This is because they stand to inherit if there is no Will, therefore they are entitled to see a copy to verify if one actually exists. Here is a link to a site that will explain further: https://law.freeadvice.com/estate_planning/wills/will-copy.htm


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