Is there a way to determine if a Will really exists?

My father died and his wife (not my mother) claims he had a Will and left everything to her. She has told my sister and I that when she dies, she will divide my father’s estate between my sister, me, and her granddaughter. If my father’s wife dies without a Will, does the entire estate transfer to his wife’s granddaughter (her only living relative)?

Asked on March 23, 2015 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If there is a WIll and it is going to be probated then it is filed in the Probate Court in the county in which your Father resided at the time of his death  The Probate file is a public record and it can be viewed by you at any time.  Now, anything that was jointly held with your stepmother passed to her automatically at the time of your Father's death.  Anything else would have to be trasnferred via a Will or it would pass to you and your sister via intestacy statute.  Please seek legal help here becuase you are correct that should your step mother pass with out a Will leaving things to you then everything goes to her granddaughter as her only blood relative.  Good luck.


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