How to view a last will & testament

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When someone you know dies, it's common to want to see the will and read what bequests he's made to the people in his life. Even if you aren't close to the executor of the will or the beneficiaries, you can still see the will after it has entered probate. If the will was not probated, you can still see it after it has been filed with the County Clerk's Office. It becomes a public document at that time and can be seen by anyone.

Call the executor of the estate and ask if you can view a copy of the will. If she says no, then do her the courtesy of telling her that you plan to view it once it is filed. If she still refuses, thank her and contact the lawyer in charge of the will.

Ask the lawyer when he plans to file the will with the County Clerk's Office, as per regulations. If she says that she plans to probate the will, ask her when that paperwork will be filed.

Go in person to the County Clerk's Office in the town where the deceased lived and died. Bring your identification with you.

Ask an employee to give you access to the deceased's will. You will have to provide him with the name, date of birth and date of death of the deceased. In some counties, you may also need the deceased's address.

Give her your address and phone number if she cannot allow you to view the will at that exact moment. Some counties will let you see it in person, but others will have to mail you a copy.

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