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Are wills of the deceased open to the public?

Dodge City, KS |

My Grandma passed away several years ago. I found out that I was part of her estate and would like to know if I could read her will.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Probate is a court process where the validity of a will is proved or disproved and it involves the estate administration proceedings. Generally, all property, other than estates under a fully funded trust, or property passing directly to others (like joint tenant property, or retirement and insurance proceeds to a named beneficiary), may be subject to a probate proceeding. Because it is a court process the probated will is available for review in most states. The probate is normally done in the county where the deceased held property so you should contact the local court and determine if there was probate for the deceased and to review the will.

    You should speak with an attorney regarding your issue. Contact people you know and trust for referrals. If you have no referrals, contact your local bar association for their referral program. Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only and discusses general legal principles, trends, and considerations and is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. For legal advice, you should retain legal counsel regarding your specific circumstances.


  2. In Kansas, probate estates are usually opened in the county of the decedent's last residence. This is also usually where the bulk of the decedent's property is, but not always.

    If your grandmother had a will, and if the will was used to probate her estate, then, yes, it is available to you. You will need to contact the probate court of the county of her last residence. Ask if a probate estate was opened for her (if not check some other counties where a probate estate might have been opened). If so, then ask if a will was filed in the case. There are usually minor fees for getting copies of court documents.

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