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How do I find out what was in a will of deceased family member, privately?

Petal, MS |

My elderly cousin died in 2009. My other cousin was the executor. My elderly cousin promised several family members things of personal and monetary value during the last few years of her life. We have not received them, and the cousin has not mentioned a thing of them. Can we find out what her Last Will said without involving the cousin? We don't want to offend her, but want to know what happened to our family member's things that were to be passed on to us or our children.

Attorney Answers 3


If an estate was opened a copy of the will was filed in the probate court in the county where your cousin resided at her death. You should be able to view a copy of the will by going to the courthouse.

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If there was a probate, the will would have been filed with the court and is a matter of public record. If the probate is still open, there might be a way, as a beneficiary, to request an accounting of your cousin's actions as executor.

This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit

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The other attorneys are correct that you should be able to obtain a copy of the will and perhaps an inventory from the probate office in the county where she died. I am not sure about MS law but to my knowledge because this is public information the executor would not know you requested the records. If you need a more formal accounting you would of course have to involve the executor.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

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