“My mom just died. She was living in Temecula, California. How do I get a copy of a will?”
Two questions we are asked very frequently are, “How do I get a copy of a trust?” and “How do I get a copy of a will?”
While these questions sound very similar, the answers are completely different.
Unlike with a trust, the executor of a will has absolutely no obligation to provide a copy of the will to anyone. So if the executor of the trust is not giving you information, how do you find out what the will says?
First of all, while the creator of a will is alive, nobody has a right to see it. After that person (called the decedent) has died, the executor must lodge the original will with the clerk of the court in the county where the decedent lived. If someone other than the executor has the original will, that person must give it to the executor within 30 days of learning of the death, so the executor can get it filed.
After the will is lodged with the court, it becomes a public record, and anyone can get a copy of a will.
If you have questions about a will or trust and are unsure what to do next, order your free copy of our new book, Winning the Inheritance Battle, available now by calling (888)443-6590.
AttorneyThe Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307