Do I Have a Right to View My Father’s Will?

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Recently, I began searching for my biological father. He left my family when I was five years old. To make a long story very short, during the course of my mother’s and my father’s 7 year relationship, he was married the entire time. Both parents were military at the time and because of that, we lived in both the United States as well as overseas. During this time, it turns out that his “family” was always in the same area that we were. He would tell “my” mother that he needed to leave for “training” and he would go home to his legal family. I assume he would use the same excuse with his wife, and then return to us. I was five years old when my mother discovered his betrayal and deceitfulness. My father left and never came back or looked for me. I recently found my seven half sibling online. I initiated contact with one and I am waiting for her to inform her other siblings of my existence. After initiating contact, I discovered my father’s obituary online. It turns out, I started my search for him too late. He does have a will on file with the county he lived in. Because I wasn’t acknowledged in his obituary (or to his family, period), do I have a right to view his personal information, such as his will? And if so, if I am not listed in his will (which I assume I am not), what rights do I have? Am I entitled to anything of his if there is no “proof” that I ever existed? I am unsure what to do or how far I should push this issue. I do feel that since he did nothing for me in my life, I should be entitled to something. Thank you in advance for your time and any assistance you may be able to provide with.

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

In regard to your first question, because his will was filed, you can go down to your local probate court within the county in which the will was filed and read a copy of the will. You also may be able to make copies of the document for your personal record.

If he excluded you from his will, you will not be able to challenge the legitimacy of his devise unless you have a valid legal ground. Alternatively, you may want to investigate whether he bequeathed all his personal and real property through the will. If you find property (personal/real) that is not mentioned in the will, then you may be able to assert a legal claim regarding the division of property amongst his immediate family.



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Author: House Attorney