If my father recently passed away and I don’t know if he had a Will., is there a way to find out without asking my stepmother or hiring a lawyer?

Asked on July 18, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If there is a Will and you are a listed beneficiary in it, then legally you must receive notification of same in a timely manner (the exact timeframe will depend on applicable state law). If there is a Will and you are not listed, then you can still find out its contents after it is filed with the probate court. Once filed, all Wills become public and anyone has the right to see it. If there was no Will, then the estate will still need to be settled. You can contact the appropriate probate court to inquire. You can also speak with a local attorney who specializes in estate matters to see what they suggest under the circumstances.


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