Who can see a will when a person dies?

Discussion in 'Askaboutlaw' started by NOAH, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. NOAH

    NOAH Frequent Poster

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    I am aware of a case where a persons brother died after a long illness but had made a will bequeathing all their monies and house to his 4 children from a previous marriage. 2nd marriage was late in life so no children. 2nd wife is allowed to stay in house until death and thats it. When she rang solicitor he would not see her and said a letter would arrrive explaining things. They were married about 20 years, brothr had all of the money when they met so bought house and kept it in his name, brother was younger than wife but did not outlive her.

    Can 2nd wife demand to see contents of will??

    Apparently the logic applied was that if she got all the estate she would leave everything to her children. and the others would get nothing. Must have been a very happy marriage!!

    And can will be disputed on the basis she kept the house running for 20 odd years??

    N---
     
  2. extopia

    extopia Frequent Poster

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    You need to see a solicitor. As far as I understand the 2nd wife would have a case as she cannot be disinhereited under the law - will or no will. Even if she signed a prenuptual agreement she could probably fight it.
     
  3. NOAH

    NOAH Frequent Poster

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    thank you

    n---
     
  4. shelflife

    shelflife Frequent Poster

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    a will is a public document and as far as i know is available after death to anyone who wants to see it.
     
  5. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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    After probate the will becomes a public document - see OASIS.
    As far as I know some wills/estates can be dealt with without going to probate but not going to probate may not be a good idea. I'm not sure. I know that when my father died my mother dealt with matters without going to probate. Basically they had both willed things to each other in the event of either's death so when he died she got everything.
     
  6. confused111

    confused111 Registered User

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    Hi,
    The only person entitled to sight of a will and a copy after death are the Executors. When the estate has been fully dealt with the Solicitor when distributing the estate sends out a letter saying So and So died and left you this under the terms of his/her last will and then quotes the relevant extract of the will.
    The will only becomes a matter of public record once the estate has been distributed ie once the grant of probate has issued and the assets dispersed.
    There is nothing stopping someone asking the Executor for a copy . However under no circumsrtances can the Solicitor give one out to anyone other than the Executor
     
  7. sheena1

    sheena1 Frequent Poster

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    I think they should see a solicitor. As far as I know under the succession act the spouse is entitled to 1/3 share in the estate and this cannot be excluded by a will. Open to correction on this....
     
  8. jpd

    jpd Frequent Poster

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    The assets can not be gathered in and distributed until probate is granted. Once probate is granted, the will is in the public domain. Until then only the executor has the right ot see the full will.
     
  9. liteweight

    liteweight Frequent Poster

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    Should this person be contesting the will before it goes to probate?
     
  10. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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    What is the legal status of situations in which the estate is distributed without going to probate? E.g. the example that I gave earlier where my parents mutually willed everything to the other in the event of either pre-deceasing the other and when my father died my mother took control of all assets? I would have assumed that this would be common enough?
     
  11. Vanilla

    Vanilla Frequent Poster

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    The grant of probate or administration is only a vehicle in order to put into effect the wishes in the will. A grant is only required when the funds are more than approximately €12,500 and are not in joint names or when real property ( land/house) is involved that is not in joint names as a joint tenant. It is perfectly legal to deal with assets after death without a grant as long as you are able to do so. The onus is on the beneficiary and executor to ensure all ( if any) taxes are paid.
     
  12. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

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    Thanks Vanilla.
     
  13. NOAH

    NOAH Frequent Poster

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    Now it gets interesting. I may be able to get a bit more detail.

    noah