What to do if I can’t find a Will but I think one was written?

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What to do if I can’t find a Will but I think one was written?

My mother just passed away. I couldn’t find a will but she told a few people she did one. How do I find out? I don’t know the lawyers name if one was written. How do I find out if I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars opening up a probate case to be able to deal with an old car and a small amount of money left?

Asked on January 28, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  It sounds as if your Mother did not have a large estate. Every state has a Small Estate proceeding on the books to help probate go faster and easier when there are very little assets involved.  The thing is if your Mom wanted the assets she left to go to others than those that would inherit under the intestacy statutes it could be an issue. If you know what her intentions were you can honor them.  If there is none then the intestacy statutes apply. I would consult with an attorney just to be cautious.  Good luck.    


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