How to get a hold of a Will that is not filed in probate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to get a hold of a Will that is not filed in probate?

I’m an only child and my father just passed away. I was not allowed at the

funeral home per his girlfriend and have been told that I get nothing per this

girlfriend. I also was not entered in his obituary. She stated her children as his as to which none of them are. As to all of this I am under so much mental stress and anguish. How am I to get a copy of said Will?

Asked on March 29, 2018 under Estate Planning, Ohio


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As your father's child, you are what in the law is called 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"). Accordingly, since whether or not a Will actually exists affects your rights, you have "standing". This stake gives you the right to bring a legal action to view their Will. That having been said, you may not be named in their Will. The fact is that a parent can disinherit a child. Further, certain assets pass outside of probate and go directly to the listed beneficiaries (e.g. IRA's, 401k's,c ertain pension benefits, 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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