Where can I get a copy of my mother’s Will?

She passed away 19 years ago, I was the sole beneficiary but cannot find a copy now.

Asked on October 29, 2011 under Estate Planning, New York


Michael D. Siegel / Siegel & Siegel, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I do not agree with the other post.  First, why do you care at this point.  As a child, you might be the beneficiary whether you have the will or not.  There must be some issue arising now that is your real issue.  Second, if the will was probated, a copy would be in the court.  Since probate only benefitted you, my guess is it never was, since no one would have reason to do it.  If you know the attorney that prepared it (or can guess) call and see what they say.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Courts may not have these documents immediately available to you (i.e., the hard copy in the court itself). You need to go to the courthouse in the county in which your mother died and go to the records area. Ask the court its procedures for search records online or on microfiche for wills entered in probate about 19 years ago. You will most likely have to pay copy fees and wait a while if it is on microfiche or stored offsite. If the will was probated, you should have no problem. Also, check the newspapers in that time period in a newspaper of general circulation and see if you can figure out whether or not the probate matter was published.

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