If I know that my father has a will, do I have a right to view it prior to his passing? 28 Answers as of January 22, 2015

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
No, you do not have a right, and he has no obligation to disclose it to you. That said, it is my practice to recommend to my estate planning clients that they share at least the basics of the plan (and where to find the Will or Trust!) with the person they have designated as personal representative (executor, trustee, etc.)
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/22/2015
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, generally no.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 1/15/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
Nope. Merely because you believe that you're entitled to an inheritance doesn't give you the right snoop on his affairs, including his will. Many parents who know that provisions of their wills will antagonize their children intentionally keep their wills confidential so they don't have to put up with whining or other immature behavior. While it's okay to ask (ONCE!!) where the will and other important documents are stored, I can't imagine an adult who is so childish as to pester a aging parent about "WHAT DO I GET" "DOES TIMMY GET MORE THAN ME."
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 1/14/2015
ABC Utah Law
ABC Utah Law | Anders Christensen
No. A will is a private document until it accepted by a probate judge as a valid will. And then it becomes a public document that can be viewed by you and anyone else.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 1/13/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
No. It is not a public document. You can ask him but he does not have to show it to you and probably does not want to do so [so you do not make a negative change in your attitude toward him].
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/13/2015
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    Your father does not have to show you the contents of his will if he chooses not to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 1/13/2015
    Laing Law Office | R. Bruce Laing
    No. If your father consents, you can view the present version of his will. His will remains a private document until it becomes final. Because it can be changed at any time before your father's death, it does not become final until he dies. The final version will be admitted to probate. Then you can view it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/13/2015
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    No, you have no right to view the will prior to your father's death.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/13/2015
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Generally you do not have the right to view your father's will prior to his passing without your father's permission. Furthermore even if you did view it it is subject to change by him at any time he wants to viewing it now will not come with a right to rely upon what is written now.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/13/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Nope. Answer applies to Oregon.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/13/2015
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    No you do not. Wills are not valid until death.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Not without his consent.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Law Office of Eva M. Crawford
    Law Office of Eva M. Crawford | Eva M. Crawford
    That depends on the circumstances, generally unless you are power of attorney, or have some other rights or privileges that would allow you to view the will prior to passing then no.. that is unless you have been given permission. I would note however this unless your intent is to have your parent unwillingly change the will or some other underhanded purpose the risk of looking at the will prior to his death is very slim, outside of upsetting your father and opening yourself up to angry relatives if they find out after the fact. Now the above answer is if your father has an intent to keep the will private.. if he does not wish to do so, if it is not hidden or locked away or in a sealed envelope or some other mechanism that shows his intent to keep the contents private then there is no issue. I would strongly suggest that if you are the executor you have your father go over the terms of the will and make you understand now what your role is and what duties you have under its terms. Make sure that your father has a plan, and has provided your or whomever the executor is with all passwords and account numbers. (including Facebook and email).. Just keep in mind that the above conversation must be had willingly, you cannot force your father to provide the information. If he wishes not to speak with you about his estate I would suggest asking him to speak with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    No, it his will, subject to change before he passes and your business only after he does if you are an heir or interested party.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Cypers Law, P.C. | Elizabeth Cypers
    No, you do not have a right to view your parent's will prior to his or her passing. If you are concerned about your parent's estate planning, it is best to try to start a dialogue with them and discuss your concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    No, you have no rights.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    The short answer is "No." A will is a private document until it is submitted to probate, at which point it becomes public. It can also be changed at any time before your father dies.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Ankerholz and Smith
    Ankerholz and Smith | Rian F. Ankerholz
    You do not have a right to view the Will prior to your father's death. There are a couple of public policy reasons which dictate privacy. First, if a person knows the provisions of another person's Will, and does not like those provisions, the person might try to unduly influence the testator to change the Will. That is not acceptable. Second, the testator should be able to make changes to his or her Will at any time while competent. The testator might feel unable or unwilling to make the desired changes to the Will if other people had learned of the original provisions. The provisions of a Will should remain private until after the testator's death.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Gliszinski Law Office, LLC | Susan Gliszinski
    No, you do not have a right to look at your father's will before his death.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    No, not unless he is willing to show it to you. The only exception would be if you suspect that someone has had undue influence on your father and persuaded him to change the will in favor of that person. There's a very high standard to prove such a situation and it often involves getting a court to declare your father incompetent at the time he executed the will.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    John Ceci PLLC
    John Ceci PLLC | John Ceci
    No, you do not. While the testator (the person who signed the Will) is alive, it's his (or her) decision who gets to see a Will.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C.
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C. | Elisha Wellerstein
    No, a will has no validity and is unenforceable while the Testator is alive. Once your father passes you will have a right to see the will.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/12/2015
    Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas | C. Terrell Thomas Jr.
    No, you do not . . . except with his permission.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/12/2015
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney