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Could you receive a copy of your loved one's will?

When it comes to knowing what a loved one put in his or her will, some people may wait anxiously. Understandably, many individuals want to know whether they were specifically named in a person's will and whether they may receive a desirable bequest. Of course, if the loved one did not disclose that information before his or her passing, the surviving loved ones may have to wait until they receive a copy of the document.

Though individuals do not sit in a room and have someone read the details of the will to everyone, you could receive a copy of the document if you have a connection to the estate. For instance, if the decedent named you as the executor, you would need the document in order to file it with the court and begin probate proceedings. However, the executor is not the only person who could see the will.

Sending out copies of the document

If the decedent had the assistance of an attorney when he or she created the will, your loved one may also have left the document in the care of the attorney. As a result, the attorney may be the one to distribute copies of the document to the appropriate parties. Some people -- aside from the executor -- who may receive a copy of the will include the following:

  • Beneficiaries named in the document
  • Guardians named for any minor children
  • Professionals named to help with the probate process, such as the estate's accountant
  • Disinherited heirs

You may wonder why a disinherited heir would receive a copy of the will. If the decedent named the person as a beneficiary in an earlier version of the document and then removed later, it may be important for the disinherited party to have that information. Individuals have the legal right to contest the contents of a will if they have legal standing and grounds to do so, and having a copy of the document will play a role in that scenario.

Obtaining a copy yourself

Of course, after the court validates the will, it becomes a part of the public record. This means that if you did not receive a copy of the document or do not want to wait any longer to receive a copy, you could go to the appropriate courthouse and request a copy. You could also request a copy by mail, if desired.

The information in a will is a vital aspect of closing an estate. If you are the executor, you will certainly need those instructions to handle remaining affairs. Even if you are not handling this role, the information may prove useful to you if you have concerns about what you may receive or if you believe the information is not the deceased's true intentions. If you have questions about receiving a copy of a will or how to handle probate, you should to consult with a Nevada attorney.

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