How can my husband find out what is in his dad's will? 22 Answers as of July 31, 2013

His father and stepmother had a legally drawn up will created. The way it states is if anyone hired a lawyer to contest, they would be removed from it. He's asked his brother but he doesn't know and it will anger his stepmother if he asked her, so how does he find out what it says? Also, no one gets anything until step mother dies.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
There is no way to find out. A will is a private document until it is filed with the probate court.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 7/31/2013
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
It sounds like there may be a trust not just a Will. If dad is dead the Will should be lodged with the Court. He could check there. If not, then he probably needs to ask step-mom. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/31/2013
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
I am guessing based on what you have said, but it sounds like your dad's Will is irrelevant. Your dad's Will only deals with assets that were in his name alone. Anything joint with the step-mom or that designated her as beneficiary, now belongs to her. HER Will would deal with such assets. If you make her mad, it is very possible she could (and would) choose to disinherit you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/31/2013
Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
The will does not become a public document until the person who executed it dies, and it is probated. No one has the right to see it before then. A "no contest" clause is fairly common, and is enforceable. If someone questions the will in court, they are cut out.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/31/2013
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
I assume that your father is now deceased. There is no likelihood of you seeing the Will until or unless it needs to be probated. There may be a way to force the issue but not without angering step-mother. It is not uncommon for a decedent to leave property to a spouse for life with the remainder to then go to other family members.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 7/31/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    He can request a copy of the will or ask that it be probated so it becomes a public record.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    The will must be filed with the court within 30 days of death. Obtain a copy from the court to see what the will says, and further you can demand a copy from the former stepmother, and the disinheritance clause cannot be used against you for making the request.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    It sounds like he knows what the will says no one can contest it and nothing goes to him until step mother dies. Therefore, step mother could technically spend it all during her life and there will be nothing left. Really the only way your husband can get the will is to ask step mom. While she is legally required to file a will with the court within 30 days of a death, most people don't do it so your choices are limited.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    I presume your father-in-law is now deceased. If that's the case, his will should be entered into probate with the local court and made available upon request to immediate family members.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    He has no right to see his father's Will while his father is alive.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Do I take it that your husband's father has died? If yes, and the will is being probated, then either a request to the lawyer for the PR or simply going to the courthouse to review the probate file would reveal the contents of the will. If Dad hasn't died, your husband really has no right to see the Will. How do you know about the "no contest" clause if you don't know anything else about the will?
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    If his father is dead, state law requires that the Will be filed with the court in the county where he died.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Thompson Ostler & Olsen dba Franchise Business Law Group | Brooke Ashton
    Your husband is entitled to at least an accounting of his father's estate even if his stepmother is the personal representative, executor or trustee of the estate. If he cannot ask his stepmother for a copy of the will, then he may be able to file a notice of interested party with the state courts so he receives information if there is a probate filed for his father's estate. However, this is not a foolproof way of finding out about the estate. If his father had a trust, then it is likely that there will not be a probate case filed with the state. Alternatively, your husband could hire an attorney to contact his stepmother with the clear understanding that this is not to contest the will, but to ascertain information regarding the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Estrada Law P.C. | Michele Ungvarsky
    Upon the death of the person who made the will, the will has to be filed with the probate court in your county. The records of the probate court are public and many courts allow internet access. You can read the will when it is filed along with any other documents filed for probate.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    The assumption here is that his father has passed away. In that case, he will need to ask his stepmother for a copy of the will. I suggest approaching the subject from one of trying to make sure everything is in order not one of contesting the will. Do you know if the entire estate is worth more than $150,000? In that case, the will will need to be probated and perhaps there are better ways of ensuring the stepmother maintains her life style will reducing the cost when the time comes to distribute the estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The provision concerning contesting the Will, does not prevent one to know what is in the Will. People contest the Will when they think they should have gotten more or someone should not have gotten what they got. You have no legal right to know what the Will states. Once in probate, the court will have a file a copy of the Will for your review.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C.
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C. | Arthur Geffen
    The will is not public record until it is probated. If it is never probated, it never becomes public record.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If the will is probated in court, the personal representative should send every heir a copy of the will. Otherwise, you will never know. The clerk's office in the court will have a copy of the will but I doubt if they will show it to anyone.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    It depends on the state, but in some states those types of provisions are not enforceable. Unless that provision is not valid in your state (and you should consult a lawyer in person), and the father is losing his marbles, contesting the will would not be cost effective anyway. Proving that someone either did not have the mental capacity to create a will and or proving someone had undue influence over the person is difficult. Prior to your father's death, he has no legal obligation to show his heirs his will.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
    In Florida, the provision that you refer to is not valid. If it states that nothing is distributed until the step-mother dies, that is OK.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Well you have asked a question you appear to have the answer to.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2013
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    If the will is filed for probate, then it's a public record. You can look it up at the courthouse website or in person.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/31/2013
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney