How to find out if Dad had will

UPDATED: Aug 20, 2017

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How to find out if Dad had will

Father died this past week and hadn’t seen him
in a while. The other side of family won’t tell me
and my brothers if he had a will or if so if we
are in it.

Asked on August 20, 2017 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can check to see if a Will was entered into probate. If it was, then it is a matter of public record, so you (or anyone else for that matter) has a right to see it. If one has not but  you can determine that in fact one exists, you can still obtain a copy. This is because legally you are what is called an "interested party". This is someone who would inherit if there is no Will, pursuant to something known as "intestate succession". Therefore, since whether or not there is a Will affects your rights, you have a stake or "standing" sufficient to give you the right to bring a legal action to view the Will. If in fact, it is determined that your father did not have a Will, then he died "intestate" which means that as his heir you are entitled to a portion of his estate as deterined by the intestacy laws of the state in which he was domiciled as of the date of his death.

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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