Can I see a copy of my mom’s Will

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I see a copy of my mom’s Will

My father passed 3 years ago and my mom has Alzheimer’s, is bedridden and completely incapacitated. My brother and I have never seen a Will and my sister has power of attorney and claims to be the executor. We have asked her for a copy and the name of the lawyer who drafted it. She refuses and says it’s not appropriate nor will she give me the contact info. Am I not allowed to see my mothers will until she passes?

Asked on August 27, 2017 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no right to see anyone's will, even as a child of them, until they pass away. A will has, by definition, no effect until death; it creates or takes away no rights or interests until death; it can be revoked or modified at will pre-death; etc. Prior to death, a will doesn't even really exist in a sense, since it can be revoked or changed at any time, and since it does not affect you in any way pre-death, you have no "standing," or recognizable legal interest, in it pre-death.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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