As a named beneficiary, do I have a legal right to see the Will?

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As a named beneficiary, do I have a legal right to see the Will?

My mother died last year and this month I received a modest check and letter from the attorney who helped her execute her Will. He wrote that I was named in the Will and that it did not need to be probated. I have requested a copy of it from him by phone and letter. He clearly did not want to provide it but agreed to send me a copy. To date I have not received it. The executor is my sister, from whom I am estranged. Am I legally entitled to a copy of the Will and what is my recourse if I am not sent a copy?

Asked on March 26, 2012 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The statements made in your question are contadictory in that you sister could not be "
the executor" unless the Will was probated.  The courts have to appoint her.  Now, if the Will was not probated then there was an administration proceeding held and the intestacy laws in the state would apply.  You would share equally with your sister I am 99.9% sure.  A proceeding filed in probate court is a public record.  And yes, you should have been served with a copy of the Will.  You need to hire an attorney at this point to figure out what really happened and see what your next course of action should be.  But hurry.  Good luck.


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