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Is a will open to the public like the rest of a person's estate information? Would it be available to another lawyer to read?

Baltimore, MD |

My probate process hasn't ended yet. I've made sure to go by the book so as to protect myself as executor. I'm not sure, but my brother could cause some trouble. Neither mom nor dad included my two brothers in their wills. A real tight family. The will was drafted 25 years ago. The lawyer who wrote it up is still around. I told my brother I would "give" him something, but I didn't say how much. There's a residuary clause and I'm the only one mentioned. ROW didn't do me any favors in contacting my brother as an "interested person". When I asked him to sign bond waiver, he said no, but yet now he'll probably expect half of balance of estate; after I finish with creditors & accounting,etc.. I guess my concern is my brother/lawyer contesting the will, arguing a caveat or being an heir.Problem!

I guess I just want to know if a will has any weight at all.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Once a Will is filed with the Probate Court, it is an open record. Thus, your brother could review the Will at the Probate Court or hire an attorney to do so.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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Posted

We don't pick our family! The Will is part of the public record, open to inspection. And the burden on your brother is very high, if he chooses to file a caveat proceeding.

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Posted

Yes, its an available record. Your brother is an interested party so he is entitled to notice even though not named in the will (that's the law in almost every state). Does the will have weight? Of course, that's why you have one. Can he contest it anyway? Of course, but doesn't mean he has a leg to stand on. You should be represented by counsel if you expect an issue.

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: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/

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