Reading of a will. Right to read the will.

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Reading of a will. Right to read the will.

Am being told that the reading of the will is being held up because of monies owed to the estate by one or more of the persons named in the will. Can I force the reading or viewing of the will regardless of the above claim. Also can a person be required to ‘pay back’ to the estate any monies claiming to be owed. The monies in question were received in good faith prior to the person dying.

Asked on June 8, 2009 under Estate Planning, Arkansas

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm not an Arizona attorney, and each state's probate laws and procedures are different.  You need to speak to a lawyer in your area, for an explanation of your rights under your state's laws, and based on all of the unique facts of your case (which you can't, and shouldn't, put in a question such as the one here).  One place to find qualified attorneys is our website, http://attorneypages.com

In most states, there is no legal requirement for a "reading of the will."  The will has to be filed with the court (or court official, in some states called the surrogate), and you should be able to get a copy, for a small fee.

The executor of an estate has a legal duty to recover any property that belongs in the estate, and it's often not appropriate for any payments out of the estate to heir to be made until that's done and the debts are known.  Whether the money you received from the person who passed away is yours to keep or has to be paid back depends on the circumstances.


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