If you have loved ones asking to see your will, it is your right to tell them NO. A California will is not part of the public record until it is filed with the probate court after your death. Once filed, however, your will can be viewed by anyone.
While you are alive, your will can be amended or revoked at any time. In other words, the terms of your will do not become effective until you die. Thus, neither your beneficiaries nor any other person has the right to read your will.
You may be wondering about whether the individuals who witness the execution of your will have the right to read it. Again, the answer is no. Their job is to witness you signing the will, not to read its contents. Your will is a personal and confidential document until the day you die.
Once you pass away, the person you nominated as executor of your estate will need your will so they can file it with the probate court. As such it might be a good idea to let that person know where your will is stored.
If you have further questions regarding the privacy of your estate planning documents or other probate-related matters, schedule an appointment by calling us at (714) 963-7543. At The Legacy Lawyers we are dedicated to your peace of mind.