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Does a beneficiary of a will or trust have a legal right to view the contents

Orlando, FL |

Mother passed away. Brother is Trustee. I'm included in trust and will. Do I have a legal right to view these documents?"

Mother died 11/27 King County WA, Probate filed Spokane WA Feb. 10, I am a beneficiary. Should I have received a copy of the will or notice of personal representative? I am a beneficiary.

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Attorney answers 3


As a named beneficiary in either a will or trust - you have the right to a copy of those instruments. You also have the right to other information, such as the pleadings (court papers) to conduct the probate, if done. The right to a copy of the will or trust is enforceable even if you are only getting a nominal amount like a $1.

The law requires that anyone with the original will - must file it with the court within 10 days of death. There is no fine or penalty for failing to do so - but if you must hire an attorney to force them to file the original will - then you can recover your attorney fees.


In Florida, a beneficiary generally has the rights to see the documents. There are some cases where Florida law allows for a agent of notice for Trusts where the actual beneficiary is not given the reporting that is generally available.

You should inform your uncle that he is required to file the will and a notice of trust within 10 days of your mother's death. In addition, he needs to provide you accountings and notice unless you consent and waive the probate proceedings. If you have done this you can revoke your consent so that you get notice and copies of the court documents. You might consider hiring an attorney to represent your interests and make sure you are being treated fairly.

David Goldman
Apple Law Firm PLLC
331 East Monroe Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Tel (904) 685-1200 Fax (904) 212-0678


A trust beneficiary has the right to see the legal documents related to a trust. In fact, the trustee is required to send a copy of the documents if a beneficiary asks for them. The trustee also has a duty to inform beneficiaries about the assets held in the trust. If you are unsuccessful with your request you may want to hire an attorney to help you. Even though trust administration is often carried on without court proceedings, an attorney can be quite helpful in helping the trustee administer properly.