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UPDATED: Mar 5, 2019

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

Asked on March 5, 2019 under Estate Planning, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.

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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