If my name is in a will, do I get a copy fo the will?

Bubble asked...

If my name is in a will do I get a copy of the will. My brother says he is not giving me a copy of the will he said he is only send a check for the estate with out a copy of the will.

Expert Answer

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

I'm assuming your brother is named executor of the will"”responsible for rounding up the property owned at death and distributing it as a will specifies. And I'm assuming you have been named as a beneficiary"”entitled to take some of the property left at death.

In most states, the executor is not legally required to show beneficiaries the will, although many decide to do it as a common practice.

But you"”or anyone else"”can get a copy of it from the local probate court or the register or wills. All you need to do is give a name and approximate date of death"”and sometimes pay a slight fee to cover copying the pages. This may be the quickest and easiest way for you to get a copy of the will, especially since it sounds as if your brother is being stubborn about it.

Once you do see the will, if you think there has been something fishy about how your brother has distributed things, you can claim that--again, in probate court. But as a warning, you might need to hire a lawyer for help with that, which can become expensive.