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Do you get a copy of a will?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2021 | Estate planning, Living wills

Contrary to popular belief in Delaware, most wills aren’t read out loud by an attorney. However, you’ll still be notified if you show up in someone’s will. You might also be notified if you showed up in a previous version of the will but were written out of the current one.

When are you told if you’re in someone’s will?

During the estate planning process, the decedent might have named multiple people in their will. If you’re one of these people, you’ll receive a copy of the will shortly after the individual has passed away. Technically, an estate attorney decides who gets a copy of the will, but they usually send one to heirs and beneficiaries named in the document.

If you were an immediate family member, you might have received a share of the assets if the individual hadn’t left behind a will. However, they might have deliberately written you out of the will. Heirs-at-law are also eligible to receive a copy of the will so they have the chance to contest the will in court.

People who were mentioned in previous versions of the will but written out of the final version could also receive a copy of the will. Like heirs-at-law, this gives you the chance to contest the will if you think it’s necessary. However, it can be challenging to prove that the will isn’t exactly what the decedent intended since they’re not around to answer questions about it.

Should you hire an attorney if you want to contest a will?

If you weren’t included in your immediate family member’s will, your first instinct might be to contest the will. Before seeking legal action, you might want to talk to an attorney about the situation. An attorney could tell you if you have sufficient cause to challenge the contents of the will.

An attorney could also help you with other aspects of estate management. If you were named the executor of a will, an attorney might help you locate the will, distribute the assets and navigate through the probate process, especially if the individual had property in different states.