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how can i get a copy of my grandfather’s will?

Asked on March 5, 2019 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the will has been filed for probate, you should be able to get it from the probate clerk's office: contact the clerk for instructions.
If it is has not been filed and the executor (person appointed by the estate to manage the will) does not voluntarily provide you a copy, your only way to get one would be by filing a lawsuit against the estate and executor. You would file the suit if you have good faith belief that you were included in the will, or that would inherit if there was no will (which you would if your parent who was the grandfather's child has already passed away) and so should be receiving some distribution from the estate but are not: the lawsuit would be to determine what is coming to you and get it. Unfortunately, a lawsuit would be the only way to get the will if it has not been probated yet, so you have to file the suit before knowing if there are really grounds for it or if you are getting anything (e.g. your grandfather did not need to leave you anything in the will). A lawyer would be very helpful in doing this, but if determined to do it yourself, you should be able to get instructions from the probate court.
The above all assumes your grandfather has passed away. If he is still alive and you want to see the will, you have no right to do so.


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