Copy of my fathers will

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Copy of my fathers will

I am an natural born child, beneficiary. I also my be a co executor. My
fathers attorney is hesitant to give me a copy of my fathers will. Can he
legally refuse?

Asked on August 10, 2016 under Estate Planning, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Has your father passed away? Most likely he has, if you're posing this question, but if he has not, then you have no right to see the will: until a person passes, his potential beneficiaries, etc. do not have any right to see the will. You father can instruct him to show you the will, but he would need to do this.
If your father has passed away, and you are a beneficiary or an executor, you have the right to see it.
However, suppose that your father disinherited you, which is his right--he could have left all his assets to charity, a friend, etc. Then the lawyer is right to hesitate to show you the will: you have no rights under it. (You say that you are beneficiary, but if you have not seen the will, you do not know that for a fact.)
That said, as somone who would inherit if this will were invalidated due to, for example, duress (or coercion), fraud, lack of mental capacity, forgery, etc., you could (again, if your father has already passed) bring a legal action in probate/surrogate's court, alleging reasons to believe that the will is invalid. In that legal action, you will be able to see and examine the will and--if there is evidence of impropriety--potentially invalidate it.

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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