Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

Rights of the Inheritor

Is every person that legally inherits from a deceased person's will entitled to receive a copy of the will? I was recently told by the executor of the estate (who happens to be my brother) that I am not entitled to see a copy of my deceased grandmother's will, despite receiving a cash inheritance from same will. The exceutor claims that only the executor and children of the deceased were entitled to receive copies of the will, not the grandchildren. Finally, if he is wrongfully holding back the document, what should I do? Obviously, without seeing a copy of the will, I have no way of knowing whether or not I was entitled to any of my grandmother's personal effects; ie., jewelry, furniture, etc.

Asked on 3/22/07, 1:52 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Norman Nadel Norman Nadel, Esq.
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Re: Rights of the Inheritor

The advice he received is not correct. You should have received a copy of the Will when you were mailed a Notice of Probate. The original Will is on file at the Surrogate's Court and is a public record which you are free to examine.

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3/22/07, 2:15 pm
Jason Stern Law Offices of Jason Stern
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Re: Rights of the Inheritor

As stated, just bypass the executor and call the Surrogate courthouse in the county in which your grandmother lived or passed away. Some will allow you to send a check to receive a copy by mail and others will just let you come in and make a photocopy.

If you need further assistance, you may contact me by email. Good luck!

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3/22/07, 3:49 pm

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