When is a beneficiary entitled to see a copy of the Will?

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When is a beneficiary entitled to see a copy of the Will?

My father died almost 6 months ago. I live in another state. His Will has not been filed and my brother won’t send a copy of it to me. I have repeatedly asked for a copy as I was told I’m named in it. However, I have also been told by the administrator (my half-brother) that I will get a copy when the estate is settled and I get my share. Is this true? I thought the Will was supposed to get filed and that I should get a copy after death before the estate is closed.

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  No, their version or how the process goes is not true.  Generally speaking, a notice  - called a citation in some states - is mailed to those named, and those that would inherit under the law if there were no Will with a copy of the Will being submitted to Probate.  And once a Will is submitted and accepted it is a public record for all to see.  I think you should contact an attorney in the state in which your Father resided at the time of his death and have he or she contact your brother to demand that the Will be submitted to probate.  Good luck.


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