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Can I legally discover if a deceased relative left a will?

Providence, RI |

My aunt owned a house and passed away. She has several siblings but my uncle (executor) has filed the will in probate. He is withholding information from his siblings and they believe he may be trying to sell her house and keep the proceeds for himself and his family.

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Attorney answers 4


You should go to the probate clerk's office in the city or town where the Will has been admitted for Probate and get a copy of everything in the court file. Then I recommend calling a probate attorney as soon as possible. I could not advise you properly without seeing these documents and getting more info from you. I handle a lot of probate matters and would be happy to meet with you to discuss in further detail. Feel free to call my office and schedule an appointment. Good luck.


Mr. Mineau's answer is 100% correct. Listen to him.

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:


I agree with my collegue on how to obtain information about the will. Generally, if a probate estate has been opened, the intested persons will receive copies of the will with a Notice of Administration. Here, siblings of the deceased seem to think they are entitled to see the will. If your aunt was married, her spouse and her descendants, rather than her siblings will likely be the beneficiaries. In my years of practice, I rarely see siblings named as beneficiaries - unless they are named as "default" beneficiaries in the event that a spouse and/or lineal descendants to not survive.


I agree with my colleagues. I would simply add that it is likely that all of the assets were jointly owned between spouses. If that is the case, it does not matter what the Will says. The property would pass to the surviving joint tenant.

James Frederick

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