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Copperlaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2016
Experience:  Lawyer and Retired cop. Drug expert, breath tech, negotiator, traffic specialist. Criminal, Family, Civil and others.
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I am sure I am the beneficiary in a will but the executor is

Customer Question

I am sure I am the beneficiary in a will but the executor is keeping me from any information as far as the will goes. How do I find out if I am in the will?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Copperlaw replied 2 years ago.
Good evening, I would be happy to assist you with this question. Every beneficiary in a Will has the right to see the Will and have full disclosure of the activities of the Executor in relation to the Estate. Do you know if there is a lawyer involved with the Estate? Do you know who the lawyer was who drafted the Will? If the Executor will not provide you with any information or a copy of the Will, you can contact the lawyer handling the Estate and request a copy, or you may contact the lawyer who drafted the Will originally for a copy. Alternatively, if the Estate is being probated through the Courts, you should check with the court office in the jurisdiction in which the person died/resided to see if they have a copy of the Will registered on file. They should then be able to give you a copy if they have it. Also, if this is your ex spouse that you are speaking of, you may have a right in the Estate, even if not specifically named in the Will, as long as you are not divorced and you are separated less than one year. Also, any relevant terms of a separation agreement or final court Order could provide an entitlement in the Estate. Also, if there is child or spousal support owed, then this can also create an interest in the Estate, even if not named. Otherwise, if you cannot obtain a copy of the Will through the methods I've detailed above, then you can apply to the Court to have them Order the Executor to provide you with a copy or face enforcement action by the Court. Your local court office can assist you with the paperwork required for filing such an application if it got to this point. Lastly, it is always helpful to retain a lawyer to protect any interest you have and to make a formal demand of the Executor for a copy of the Will. If the Executor is mishandling the Estate or failing to execute their duties and obligations, then a lawyer can make application to have that Executor removed. I hope that this information has been of assistance to you and I look forward to hearing back from you. Also, please take a moment to leave me a positive rating. Jim
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I guess the only question I have would be would if I am mistaken and he did not put me in his will can I still ask to see it. I do know there is a lawyer involved but I am shy to ask. How long does it usually take to notify a beneficiary if they are in the will. he died May 26, 2015 and had a company.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We did not live together and split up approx. 5 years ago but remained best friends and very close.
Expert:  Copperlaw replied 2 years ago.
If you are not named in the Will, then you are not, by law, entitled to see it. You can still ask, however there is no obligation in law to produce it for you. If application were made to the Court, it would be produced to the Court first, so that Court could determine if you had an entitlement. If you did not, the Court would not order it to be produced to you. It can take some time for matters to be settled in an Estate and is not unusual, particularly where corporations are involved, for things to take up to a year to wind up. Nothing can be distributed to beneficiaries until all assets and debts are determined, including the filing and paying of any final personal and corporate taxes. This would also involve the winding up or passing off of a corporation. This all takes time and it would not be surprising in the least that a beneficiary would not have been notified after only 2 months or so.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do I ask in a provincial or supreme court house. I live in a very rural area and only have a local not supreme court house. Can I go to that one or the supreme court some 4 hours away. I live some 8 hours from his lawyer that made the will can I phone and request it , if in fact I am in it or do I have to make an appointment and go there?
Expert:  Copperlaw replied 2 years ago.
You should be able to make your inquiries by phone. If you are named in the Will, the lawyer would likely require some proof of identification before releasing a copy, but than at least you'd know that your trip there wouldn't be for nothing. They should be able to at least confirm whether you are named via a phone call or email. As for the Courts, you're best to call as well and see if they handle Estate matters at your local provincial court, given the distance from your nearest Supreme Court. They likely have jurisdiction over such matters locally given the fact that you are in a very rural area.
Expert:  Copperlaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi. I just thought I'd check in with you and see how you made out. Please let me know if anything else has arisen and if you require any clarification on anything. Also, please take a moment to leave me a positive rating so that I may be credited for the time that I spent with you on this question as this assists me in building my reputation as an Expert user here on the site. Warm RegardsJim

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