If my uncle was selected by my father and stepmother to be the executor of their estate, should my uncle have a copy of the Will?

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If my uncle was selected by my father and stepmother to be the executor of their estate, should my uncle have a copy of the Will?

Due to my stepmother now being in sole possession of all of my parents assets and valuables, and cutting off all communication with us shortly after my father’s passing, we are worried that she may change the Will;my father explicitly designated his half of their estate to be split equally between my siblings and I. He told this to us while still living. Our stepmother for only 2 yreas, has been staunchly against giving us any of our parents things. Because of this, we are worried that she will change the will since no one, not even my uncle, the executor, has a copy of it.

Asked on June 22, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Yes, the Will should be offered for probate by both of the named executors/  There are many complications here and questions that I have.  First, is all the property separately or jointly held with your step mother?  Jointly held property passsed to her automatically but separate property did not.  She can not change the Will but if she tries then you would contest it being offered for probate.  Speak with an attorney here because you may need to think about strategy and how to compel her to produce the Will or have your uncle proceed as if there were no Will in order to be appointed as the PR of the estate and have the power to act under the law.  Good luck.


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