How to Access the Last Will & Testament

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A will is a private document made during the life of the maker. You do not have a right to see another person's Will unless she gave you permission or the will is recorded with probate. After the person dies, all probated wills become a matter of public record.

Find out the full name, date of birth and date of death (if applicable) of the person whose will you are trying to access.

Go to the probate court in the city where that person's will was probated. A copy is on record at the probate court.

Ask the probate clerk for a copy of the will. You may be told to come back in a few days to pick up the copy. There may also be a small fee for copying it, but generally you can see the Will for free.

About the Author

Based in Washington, D.C., Hannah Maarv has been a writer and a researcher since 2006. She specializes in law, culture and religion. Her articles have appeared online at Womenslaw and Patheos. Maarv holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology from Rutgers College and a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School.

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