If my husband of 32 years just passed away a week ago and I have learned he had a Will without my knowledge, do I have a legal right to read it?

UPDATED: Mar 4, 2015

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If my husband of 32 years just passed away a week ago and I have learned he had a Will without my knowledge, do I have a legal right to read it?

His adult children have not let me read this Will. I am guessing i am not named in it.

Asked on March 4, 2015 under Estate Planning, Ohio


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation. First, understand that any assets that are jointly held by you and your deceased husband passed to you automatically at the time of his death.  That would be real property, joint bank accounts, etc. Now, whether or not you are in the Will is irrelevant to the fact that you are to receive a copy under the law. So if I were you I would seek legal help from ana ttorney now on this point and many others that will be coming up.  You MUST be served a copy as his survivng spouse as well as notice of their intent to probate. Period. You also have a spousal "right of election" under the Ohio Probate Code, meaning that your husband could not write you out of the Will.  You must receive at least one third of his net estate.  Get help.  Good luck. 

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