How can I find out if my mom’s will was changed before or shortly after she died

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can I find out if my mom’s will was changed before or shortly after she died

My aunt was my mom’s benifinatiary and
she hasn’t let me know anything.i know
me and my children are suppose to get

Asked on January 21, 2019 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Wills do not need to be filed pre-death, so there is no official "court" copy of an earlier will out there to compare. If you nonetheless have a copy of the earlier will, or know someone who has a copy, you can obviously compare that earlier will to the current one. 
Be aware that a will may be legally changed at any time until a person dies--they don't have to stay with what's in an earlier will, or what someone told you that you'd inherit. Only the final will that existed as of death has any power or effect. So even if it was changed shortly before she died, that is legal.
If you believe that your aunt is not following a will or forged a will, you can challenge the will in probate court by filing a legal action (lawsuit). The only way to challenge a will (or the distribution of assets in violation of what you believe to be a will's terms) is via a legal action in court. As the person challenging it, you'd have to prove your case: that means you'd need evidence to show your aunt is not following a will or created a fraudulent one. If you wish to explore that option, consult with a probate attorney to better understand what is involved in a challenge.

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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