about an old will

my father made a will befor he died how can i get that will

Asked on March 29, 2019 under Estate Planning, Kansas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The fact is that sometimes people can deposit their Will for safekeeping with the probate court; it is then formally filed upon the death of the testator (this is the person who made the Will). Many people, including lawyers, don’t know you can do this. For example in NY, it costs $45 to do this. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Wills are not filed in advance, before the person dies, since they only take effect on death. Therefore, it will not be in the court's records unless someone has already begun probating it. If no one has, you should look in his papers (e.g. wherever he kept bills and legal papers), talk to his attorney(s) and accountant(s) if you know who they are, ask his siblings (if any) or close friends--in short, look in all logical places he may have kept it, and ask all the logical people who may know of it. It may be, however, that you never find it, if it is lost, and you will need to manage and distribute his "estate" (what he left behind) based on your state's rules for "intestate succession" (who gets what when there is no will).


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