Family member stole will

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Family member stole will

My mother was on her deathbed in January 2018. My aunt found the Will in her spare office at my mothers home.There was a gathering at my mom house 20-30 members of family and they called a mobile notary to notarize Will. My 2 cousins had their girlfriends be witnesses but after my mom died the will is now missing and everyone says they do not know. My mother did not destroy it, so what do I do now? I checked to see if the county she lived maybe a family member filed it but no records.

Asked on April 30, 2018 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing you can do if there is no other signed and witnessed copy of the will and the will does not turn up. A will can only be probated (given effect and enforced) if there is a signed and witnessed copy. Without a signed and witnessed copy, a claimed or alleged will is ineffective and your mother's property will pass by "intestate succession," or the rules for who gets what when there is no will. In your state, if your mother did not have a living spouse when she died, that means her children will equally share in her estate.


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