Is it possible for someone to legally force me to reveal the contents of my Will while I’m still alive?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it possible for someone to legally force me to reveal the contents of my Will while I’m still alive?

I’ve written up a Will recently and I’m just wondering if someone could do

something like get a court order for me to reveal its contents prior to my death.

Asked on October 7, 2018 under Estate Planning, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, no one could. A will has NO effect until you pass away--it is not enforceable until then, can be changed or revoked whenever you want, does not give anyone any rights to anything before you die, etc. Not having any effect--being essentially a purely hypothetical or theoretical thing--no one would have "standing," or a legal right, to force you to reveal it. To have standing, you must suffer from damage, loss, restriction, etc.--i.e. an "injury" of some kind; but there can be no injury from something that has no effect or power.

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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