There are two time frames where you might want to get a copy of the will. Before the Testator dies and after he dies.
The last time frame (after the Testator dies) is easy. The Texas Probate Code requires anyone who has a will of the decedent to file it with the County Clerk. If they refuse to file it, a person can send them a demand letter to file the will. If the will is still not filed, a claim can be filed with the Probate Court to require that the will be filed as well as charging the person who refused to file the will with attorney’s fees.
The first time frame (before the Testator dies) is more problematic. These situations arise were the Testator is in a nursing home or has some mental deficit such that he can’t take care of himself. Someone, usually a family member, wants a copy of the will in order to make arrangements upon the eventual death of the Testator.
If the Testator‘s attorney has a copy of the will and if you have a power of attorney, you can get a copy of the will. If you don’t have a power of attorney, the attorney can’t disclose his client’s files to you or anyone else. If the will is being kept by someone other than an attorney, there is no provision in the Texas Probate Code to force them to give you a copy of the will before the testator dies.
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By Robert Ray a Board Certified attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. We handle litigation involving inheritance disputes. We don’t prepare wills. We don’t file wills for probate or distribute estates except when we are contesting a will or protecting a will from a contest. We handle a select few cases on contingency. Don’t use a comment to ask a personal question about an inheritance issue because your name and comment will be public. To ask a litigation question and to protect your privacy, click the red button to the right.