A person who is disinherited is typically either an heir who would naturally expect to inherit money but was left out of the will or another person — even if not related to the individual who passed away — who was named in a prior will and then removed from the most current will. For instance, a person could initially put a close family friend in the will, lose touch with them over the years, and then remove them from the next will. In other cases, people cut out one child while leaving everything to other children.
So, do people who get disinherited need to get a copy of the deceased’s will? After all, a “will reading” generally does not happen these days. Written copies are simply distributed to the beneficiaries.
Technically speaking, there is no legal mandate saying that an individual who is no longer named in someone’s will has to get a copy of that will. They have nothing to gain. They are unrelated to the legal process in that sense.
However, a person who has been disinherited may want to contest a will. They have a legal right to do so. They only have so long to start that lawsuit. This time period begins when they get their copy. For this reason, they will sometimes be provided with a copy quickly so that they have to decide whether to challenge the will or not. This makes things easier than distributing the assets and then learning about the challenge at a later date.
Not everyone who gets disinherited has the grounds to win such a challenge, but it is important for all parties to understand exactly how the process works.