How To Find A Loved One’s Will
Not everyone is prepared for the death of a loved one. Sometimes, a death happens suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving families no time to talk about what should happen afterwards. In some cases, family members know that their loved one had a will, but they do not know where it is located. Locating the will is very important, as it can make the probate process easier and will ensure that the testator’s last wishes are fulfilled. If you have lost someone and are unsure about how to obtain their will, our St. Petersburg wills lawyer explains the steps to take.
Search the Decedent’s Personal Belongings
Most people who create a will keep a copy among their personal belongings. Start looking for the will by searching any office or study the person used, any safe in their home, or try to locate any safety deposit box that was in their name at a bank or other institution.
Contact the Decedent’s Probate Attorney
If you know the decedent was working with a certain probate attorney, you can contact them to ask for a copy of the will. Many people choose to keep a copy of their will with their attorney for safekeeping. If you are unsure of the name of the probate lawyer, search through the decedent’s personal belongings while looking for a name and phone number.
Contact the Executor of the Estate
Perhaps the easiest way to locate a copy of the will is to contact the executor of the estate. Most executors are given a copy of the will when they are appointed. If you do not know who the executor is, you can also try to find their name and contact information in the decedent’s personal belongings.
Search the Probate Court Docket
If you have exhausted all other options, you can search the docket of the probate court. You must search the docket of the court that is in the county where the decedent resided. Many of the probate courts allow you to search these records online.
If You Cannot Find a Will
If, after taking all of the above steps, you still cannot find your loved one’s will, you may have to move forward with intestate probate administration. If, on the other hand, you are certain there is a will or other estate planning documents, and the party who has them in their possession will not provide you with a copy, it is important to speak to a probate litigation attorney.
Our Wills Lawyer in St. Petersburg Can Help
Contrary to what many people think, there is no one database you can use to try and find your loved one’s will. However, when you work with one of our St.Petersburg wills lawyers at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, we can search for assets and explore legal avenues that can help you find what you are looking for. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help your family.