How can I view a Will if the executor won’t provide it?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can I view a Will if the executor won’t provide it?

My mother recently passed away and her grandson is the executor. He won’t show me the Will or even a copy. I am concerned that he will take everything as the Will goes through probate. Is there a way that I can see the Will before it goes through the courts?


Asked on October 27, 2018 under Estate Planning, Ohio


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, you don't have to wait for probate to conclude. Once your mother's Will is submitted to the probate court, it becomes a matter of public record. So you (or anyone else) can ask the court for a copy. Further, you can still get a copy of it since you are what the law calls an "interested party". This is a person who would have inherited if there had there been no Will (pursuant to something known as "intestate succession"). Therefore, since whether or not a Will actually exists affects your rights, you have a stake or "standing" in the matter. This stake gives you the right to bring a legal action to view the Will. That having been said, you may not be named in it as a benefciairy since a parent may disinherit a child. Also, some assets pass outside of probate such proceeds from IRA's, certain bpension benefits, 401's, etc.  

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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