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Am I legally entitled to get a copy of my father's un-probated will?

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Am I legally entitled to get a copy of my father's un-probated will?
Asked 18 minutes ago - Atlanta, GA

Will
My father died about 10 years ago. As his daughter, I never received a copy of his will. The attorney has in their possession my dad's un- probated will (will not probated) and refuses to mail me a copy. I discovered copies of my dad's will at my mothers house. She refused to allow me to have a copy. My brother asked me why I need a copy. Can my deceased fathers will legally be withheld from me? What are my options to resolve this issue? Thank you

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Get an estates attorney involved to see where you stand in all this. However, if all his assets were held jointly with his wife, then there was no need to probate the will and you would be entitled to nothing thereunder. Also, if you push your mother then you may put her in a position where she may not provide for you under her will. So get with counsel to discuss this matter before doing anything.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website www.sjfpc.com.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  2. Yes-You are entitled to a copy of the will.
    The person holding the original will must file it
    with the court upon death of writer of will.
    It then becomes a public record and you can obtain
    a copy.
    If a probate proceeding is necessary-all beneficiares would receive a copy of the will and a accounting of assets.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


  3. My guess is that based on all you have said in your three summaries, that no probate was ever filed. If it had been, the Will would be on file. That being the case, it is almost certain that all of the assets were jointly held by your parents, and that everything now belongs to your mother. If things were otherwise, your mother would not be legally able to access any probate assets.

    Keep in mind, even in the unlikely event that your father's Will said "I leave everything to my daughter and NOTHING to my wife," that EVERYTHING would go to your mother, if the assets were joint or if she was named as beneficiary. So it is VERY likely that your mother now owns the assets, regardless of what the Will says. MOST estate plans between married couples provide that everything passes to the spouse, and then upon the death of the spouse, to the kids.

    You have already waited 10 years without doing anything about this. Given these realities, you can persevere and antagonize your mother to the point where she writes you out of HER Will. Or you can accept that it is highly unlikely that you were left anything and let this go for now.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

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