If a death certificate has been filed, can I find out if there was a Will?

And how?

Asked on October 27, 2011 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The filing of a death certificate does not necessarily mean that there is a Last Will and Testament for the decedent or that one has been filed with the court.  But if there is a probate proceeding of any kind filed then it would be filed in the Probate Court in the County in which the decedent legally resided at the time of his or her death.  Once a Probate proceeding is filed then the matter becomes a public record, meaning that you can view the file at any time.  There can be a probate proceeding even if someone dies "intestate" - with out a Will - in order to distribute their assets to their next of kin.  Each state has an intestacy statute that governs distribution.  Good luck. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.