Does a child have the right to see a parent's will?

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2015, 02:15 AM
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Post Does a child have the right to see a parent's will?

My friend is having a problem with one of her children who wants to see her will. She does not want the child to see it. The will was drawn up by a local elder-care attorney. There has been friction with the child and she believes the child just wants to see if he/she is in the will, not to make sure all her interests were taken care of. Her estate is very, very small. I told her that I don't think a child has a right to see a will before the parent's death. It's up to the parent. What are your thoughts?

Thursday 2/12***Clarification: What are your thoughts about YOU and YOUR children re: wills?
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Last edited by KittyKat; 02-12-2015 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:38 AM
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Default My thoughts are...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyKat View Post
My friend is having a problem with one of her children who wants to see her will. She does not want the child to see it. The will was drawn up by a local elder-care attorney. There has been friction with the child and she believes the child just wants to see if he/she is in the will, not to make sure all her interests were taken care of. Her estate is very, very small. I told her that I don't think a child has a right to see a will before the parent's death. It's up to the parent. What are your thoughts?
that it's personal and between the parent and child...in other words...none of my business....
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:01 AM
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simply put, wills are personal and not to be shared. However, unless your friend specifically asked for your help, I'd stay out of it, just listen, nod wisely, be sympathetic and stay out of it. Wills, estates and families are a minefield.
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:43 AM
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Default My mother gave all of her children a copy of her will

Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyKat View Post
My friend is having a problem with one of her children who wants to see her will. She does not want the child to see it. The will was drawn up by a local elder-care attorney. There has been friction with the child and she believes the child just wants to see if he/she is in the will, not to make sure all her interests were taken care of. Her estate is very, very small. I told her that I don't think a child has a right to see a will before the parent's death. It's up to the parent. What are your thoughts?

My mother gave all of her children a copy of her will.

Perhaps the adult child can be told the basics of the will, to put her mind at ease....???

If one child is the executor or executrix, there "might" be hard feelings among other siblings.

Wills made in earlier years may no longer represent the true assets left at the time of death of a loved one......(for many reasons.)

I like the below article on how "Inheriting property does not always bring out the best in family members.........."

AVOIDING FAMILY DISPUTES:

""Inheriting property does not always bring out the best in family members. Many people, of course, handle everything smoothly, following a loved one's instructions as much as they can and peacefully agreeing on the rest. But a death can raise long-dormant relationships issues and revive old jealousies and resentments.

Probably the one element most likely to provoke bad feelings is surprise. If everyone in the family knows the broad outlines of how you're planning to leave your property, they may understand your choices. Even if they don't, they will have had some time to get used to the idea and air their concerns. They are likely to respect your choices, and not try to undermine them informally or through a lawsuit.

If, on the other hand, your estate plan takes everyone by surprise, there could be confusion, argument, and possibly court fights. Say, for example, an elderly man leaves the lion's share of his estate to a charity or to a caregiver who recently arrived on the scene, or a woman leaves a valuable piece of art not to her children but favors a niece who wasn't known to be particularly close to her. If the children knew that the niece had a special connection to the artwork, or that the caregiver had performed extraordinary services, they wouldn't be left to wonder at the fairness of the bequests.

Even more common is the hurt caused by an unequal division of assets among offspring. Most parents leave their property to their children more or less equally, but there can be many good reasons for a different plan--perhaps one child has problems handling money, or already received an "advance" on his inheritance in the form of a gift. As long as the children all understand the reasoning, they are likely to accept your decisions. After all, it's your money.""

Everyone needs a will.......a lot of us could help our families by creating simple living trusts also. Here are the tools you need to get your estate planning started by creating these documents & others.



http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/avoiding-family-disputes

PLEASE SEE OTHER SUBJECTS ( re various hyperlinks) Nolo.com

http://www.nolo.com/products/wills-trusts

Click hyperlink; then keep scrolling to the bottom for various types of software for wills.......or trusts.




 




 


 








 






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Old 02-12-2015, 06:23 AM
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It's not the children's business, and if the will causes them problems after the parents pass away, that is their problem, not the parents' problem. Our small family is loving and close, but the kids don't have a clue how much we have. They just have a book with all the info they need to go find out these things after we're gone. And power of attorney.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyKat View Post
My friend is having a problem with one of her children who wants to see her will. She does not want the child to see it. The will was drawn up by a local elder-care attorney. There has been friction with the child and she believes the child just wants to see if he/she is in the will, not to make sure all her interests were taken care of. Her estate is very, very small. I told her that I don't think a child has a right to see a will before the parent's death. It's up to the parent. What are your thoughts?
Guess everyone will see it eventually.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:31 AM
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unless the parent has some sort of dementia, why would the children care about the will, and even if.....

I think the child may want to make sure they get there fair share.....?

Sad form of grown children thinking the parents owe them, they don't....just another form of entitlement issues....
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstew43 View Post
unless the parent has some sort of dementia, why would the children care about the will, and even if.....

I think the child may want to make sure they get there fair share.....?

Sad form of grown children thinking the parents owe them, they don't....just another form of entitlement issues....
I agree.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstew43 View Post
unless the parent has some sort of dementia, why would the children care about the will, and even if.....

I think the child may want to make sure they get there fair share.....?

Sad form of grown children thinking the parents owe them, they don't....just another form of entitlement issues....
Financial abuse of an elderly person is quite common. If someone has coerced a senior into making radical changes in their Will or other financial documents, a child would certainly want to know.
The child may be acting in the best interests of the parent...but I would avoid getting in the middle of a parent/child dispute.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by KayakerNC View Post
Financial abuse of an elderly person is quite common. If someone has coerced a senior into making radical changes in their Will or other financial documents, a child would certainly want to know.
The child may be acting in the best interests of the parent...but I would avoid getting in the middle of a parent/child dispute.
If the children have a valid reason to believe that their parent's will may have been influenced by some charleton like some of those television ministers to leave all their money to them - yes, an executive decision can and should be made to review the will with all the children, parents, and attorney present.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:29 AM
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Short answer? NO!

The problem is we are being asked to provide an opinion with limited, insufficient information to do so.

Without knowing why it is the child is insisting, we can only speculate based on how we interpret what has been presented.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:23 AM
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However I was told that if you want to leave any relative out that you should leave them $1 so it is clear that they were not to be included or it can be contested.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:42 AM
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However I was told that if you want to leave any relative out that you should leave them $1 so it is clear that they were not to be included or it can be contested.
You are are perhaps referring to a pretermitted heir situation. Pretermitted heirs legal definition of Pretermitted heirs

The OP's question almost reads like a law school exam question. There are so, so many possible situational variations that no one answer suffices.

My answer would be no...unless......
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:15 PM
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I think parents should know their children and their finances well enough to make this individual determination, "themselves".

In a family of several children, the parent should have one child they know they can trust and follow the wishes of a will and be the executor. If the will is made out in an unbalance fashion, there will trouble amongst the siblings, all dependent on their version of, "what is fair, and equitable".

When it's comes to money, people will do irrational things especially if they spend almost all of their money and start to look for someone to bail them out, of their financial mess.

Remember:
1. When you are small, you play together.
2. When you are teenagers, you may double date.
3. After you get married, the cousins will play together.
4. As you mature and disagree with some of your siblings lifestyle and or money expenditures.
5. When the parents pass, the stuff hits the fan with "who gets what", and "what I deserve".

This is not true of every family but the majority. IMHO

Money does funny things to some people's minds. The love of money is the root of all evil. I've known some people who were very well off and still argued, and disagreed with their siblings.

Solution is to have one child or die broke. IMHO
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:32 PM
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btk I agree.

My siblings and I instinctively worked out the estate with no hurt feelings.

My wife comes from a large family and she is the oldest daughter. My mother in law sat her down after my father in law died and instructed on what she wished giving my wife money she put aside to hold in an interest bearing account. When my mother in law passed my wife executed her wishes providing money to those her mother designated would be in greater need.

As a personal preference I choose not to get involved in the financial and personal manners of people and that included my in-laws that was my wife's to do.
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