If my father recently passed away, as his natural child do I have any rights to see his Will?

UPDATED: Mar 12, 2015

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If my father recently passed away, as his natural child do I have any rights to see his Will?

He was remarried about 20 years ago to my stepmother. Due to some family strife after his death, my stepmother is not speaking to his side of the family and we’ve been left in the dark about his affairs. I’ve heard there is a Will, but I don’t know the details. They were not wealthy so this is not about money; I am more interested in some family heirlooms that are currently in my stepmother’s possession in their home.How do I know that she will execute it as he wished if he thought to leave me the family heirlooms? Also, my family has a history of heart issues; do I have a right to a copy of his death certificate?

Asked on March 12, 2015 under Estate Planning, South Carolina


Christine Socrates / Christine Sabio Socrates, Atty at Law

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If your stepmother probates his will, she is required to serve you to a copy with notice that the will was filed at probate court.  If she opens an estate then she also must notify you that she is applying to administer his estate.  Regarding the death certificate, you can order a copy of your own, it is a public record.   

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