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David Kennett
David Kennett, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years practicing attorney
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My father is over 80 yrs old. My mother (his wife) died a few

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My father is over 80 yrs old. My mother (his wife) died a few years back. Since then he married another woman about 15 years younger than he. Although I protested, he is now married again to a woman I do not trust. New York is the jurisdiction. He assures me that certain of his assets and some money has been willed to my sister and me. Should he die before his new wife, what if any control do I have over how his will is executed, etc? The executor is his lawyer whom I also do not trust. Can I demand to have an advance copy of the will or may I obtain it legally prior to his passing? Thanks, David
Dear JACUSTOMER - You would have no right to see his will until after his death and the will is probated. It is his private property so if he wants to show it to you he can but it is his choice. By law he doesn't have to leave anything to you so whatever the will says it what it says and you would have no power to change it. So the only way for you to inherit a part of his estate is if he decides to leave it to you in his will or he dies without a will and you inherit under the laws of intestate succession. If he should pass away the will is going to be a matter of public record. There simply is nothing you can do to force him to show you his will or to obtain a copy.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Mr. Kennett:


Thank you for your prompt reply. Although disappointing, it is as I expected.


What about his health care proxy elections or DNR status? Would I be able to access this? I am pretty sure he will share this with me.


I guess I am just frosted over him remarrying in the first place, and now his new wife, who has proven unpleasant and controlling can potentially take everything that I feel my sister and I deserve after meeting and knowing my father for only a couple years.

Whatever he will share is fine. If you are his health care power of attorney then you would have that power but it still would not be power over his personal property or papers. The only way to have complete control over him would be to have a legal guardianship by getting him declared to be mentally incompetent. Of course then it would be too late to change his will. I certainly understand how you feel and it is a very common occurrence whenever a parent enters into a second marriage. Unless the parent recognizes the effect on his or her children or the new spouse is a considerate person it can cause a lot of strife in families and I have no legal solution to that problem.
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