What are a child’s rights to review a living parent’s Will/Trust?

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2014

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What are a child’s rights to review a living parent’s Will/Trust?

My wife of 46 years is the oldest child having 3 other siblings. Her mother died 9 years ago and her father is in failing health at age 92. The 3rd child/brother is 10 years younger and is apparently either the executor alone or with his sister who is 2 years younger then my wife. We have never seen the Will or Trust, have no knowledge of how his finances have been overseen the past 10 years and are very suspicious of their seemingly “on the same page” actions. Does my wife have any right when it comes to the Will/Trust. Can we see it? Can we legally see the financial transactions of the past?

Asked on June 19, 2014 under Estate Planning, Oregon


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, your wife has no right to view the Will or Trust until she becomes a beneficiary of the estate.  But she does have a right to object to the Will or the management of the trust and trust assets when the time comes.  I would speak with an attorney in the state in which her Father resides about the time constraints involved and her rights to request a fiduciary accounting if she believes that they dissipated assets or even if they in some way unduly influenced her Father.  Good luck.

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