Do I have the right to see a copy of my father’s Will?

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Do I have the right to see a copy of my father’s Will?

My deceased father had joint bank accounts with my sister and apparantly he made a Will for my sister to inherit everything leaving myself and my brother nothing. Is there anything that I can do as neither my brother or I have seen any Will? I know my sister’s daughter is apparantly the executor of the Will.

Asked on September 17, 2017 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a parent may disinherit their adult children. That having been said, you do have a right to view a copy of your father's Will. First, you can check to see if the Will was entered into probate. If it was already filed, then it is now a matter fo public record, so you can get a copy. If it has not yet been entered, you can still obtain a copy. This is because in the eyes of the law you and your brother are what is known as an "interested party". This is a person 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 this. This is sufficient to give you the right to bring legal action to view the Will. If in 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 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a parent may disinherit their adult children. That having been said, you do have a right to view a copy of your father's Will. First, you can check to see if the Will was entered into probate. If it was already filed, then it is now a matter fo public record, so you can get a copy. If it has not yet been entered, you can still obtain a copy. This is because in the eyes of the law you and your brother are what is known as an "interested party". This is a person 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 this. This is sufficient to give you the right to bring legal action to view the Will. If in 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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