Who Can View My Will?
You can show your Will to anyone you wish during your lifetime. It is a good idea to provide a copy of your Will to your executor and to let your executor know where your original Will is located. It can sometimes be difficult for your executor to locate your original Will, particularly if it was executed many years ago. This can delay your executor in administering your estate.
After your passing, while there generally isn’t a formal reading of a Will, your executor is obligated to provide a copy of your Will to your beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries also have a right to disclosure of your estate’s assets as well as to be kept informed by your executor as to the progress of the administration of your estate. Once your estate is finalized, your executor is required to provide a final accounting to your beneficiaries, detailing the administration of your estate.
With the exception of a surviving spouse or common law partner not named in your Will, your executor isn’t required to disclose the contents of your Will to anyone else; even if the person requesting the disclosure is related to you. If you haven’t named your surviving spouse or common law partner as a beneficiary in your Will, he or she can request an accounting of your estate assets.
If your Will needs to be probated, a copy of the grant of probate, along with a copy of your Will attached to it, becomes a public court document and can be obtained by anyone through the court once probate is complete.
If your executor refuses to provide a copy of your Will to a named beneficiary in your Will, that beneficiary may bring a court application compelling your executor to produce a copy of your Will. A lawyer can provide valuable assistance in bringing such an application.
If you have questions regarding your Will, or if you wish to have a Will prepared, please contact our office and our lawyers will be happy to assist you.