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Request probate documents when you suspect wrongdoing

The loss of a loved one could leave anyone with questions. While you may have expected your loved one's passing for some time due to health issues, you may still wonder what will happen to his or her estate and whether you will play a role in the probate process. Though you may already know that you are not the executor, you may still want to review certain probate documents.

In most cases, the executor will contact the necessary parties, including beneficiaries, to let them know that they have been named in a will or otherwise named in an estate plan. However, it is not always easy to get in contact with executors, and some do not handle their duties correctly. As a result, you may want to take matters into your own hands.

Requesting probate documents

Because probate proceedings become part of the public record, the public can access any documents submitted for your loved one's probate case. You may want to receive a copy of the will to go over the information included in it, and you can request a copy from the court. First, you need to find out where the executor filed the will, and that is usually the county in which the decedent lived. You can utilize online resources to find out how to request copies of those documents.

You may need to pay a copying fee, but usually, these fees are minimal. You can go to the court in person to request a copy of the desired documents, or you could make a request by fax or mail. If you make the request by mail, you would be wise to include a self-addressed stamped envelope so the court can easily send your documents to you.

What if something is off?

You may want to obtain copies of your loved one's will because you felt that something was off with the probate proceedings already. Unfortunately, if the executor is not acting appropriately or if you believe someone unduly influenced your loved one into creating a new will, you may find yourself in a difficult spot. Still, having the documents you need could help you determine whether you have reason to take legal action to address a problem.

If you do suspect that a serious issue has come about with your loved one's probate case, you may want to discuss your concerns with an experienced Pennsylvania attorney who can explain your options.

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