How can I get a copy of my mothers Will?

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2018

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How can I get a copy of my mothers Will?

She recently passed away. My brother is POA and I believe he’s not being honest.

Asked on January 7, 2018 under Estate Planning, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are named as a benfciary in the Will, then you have a right to see a copy of it. In this case, you can check to see if your mother's Will has already been entered into probate. If it was, then it is a matter of public record so you have a right to see it. Yet, even if it has not been entered, you can still obtain a copy of it. This is due to the fact that in the eyes of the law you are an "interested party". In other words, one who would have inherited if there had there been no Will (via something known as "intestate succession"). Consequently, since whether or not there is a Will affects your rights, you have a "standing". This is a stake that is sufficient to give you the right to bring a legal action to view the Will. If in fact, it is determined that your mother did not have a Will, then she died "intestate" which means that as her heir, you are entitled to a portion of her estate. At this point, you consult directly with a local probate attorney. Also, a POA ends upon the death of the principal which means that your brother has no further control over any of your mother's assets.

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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