What can we do if my wife’s mother is withholding her father’s Will?

UPDATED: Mar 8, 2015

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What can we do if my wife’s mother is withholding her father’s Will?

Her father died a few months ago. Every time she asks about it, her mother gives her the runaround, saying that “she can’t find it”. Knowing what I do about this woman, I believe that she is trying to change the Will or wait a period of time so that my wife may lose what her father gave her. What can I do to help?

Asked on March 8, 2015 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  This is a huge issue and it could be an uphill battle for you and she. First, if her Mother does not wish to probate the Will she may not have to.  If you have a copy you could attempt to probate and ask the court to accept the copy as the Original that was lost or destroyed.  Did he have a particular attorney that you could go to that may have a copy?  Anything listed jointly in her Father and Mother's names pass to her Mother automatically at the time of her Father's death.  I would speak to a lawyer in your area about what specifically it was that her Father was leaving to her and your options.  Good luck. 

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