How can I find out if my father had a Will?

UPDATED: Oct 7, 2014

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How can I find out if my father had a Will?

He said that he was seeing a lawyer but I don’t know the name or number of this lawyer.

Asked on October 7, 2014 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

First, be on the look out for a letter and/or business card from any lawyer (even if its from an attorney concerning another matter it could still prove useful; they may have recomended an attorney to him that drafts Wills). If you find something, contact the person and ask if they drafted a Will for your father. If you can't find any relevant information about an attorney, contact any other advisers that he may used; a financial planner or accountant may know something. If need be you can just start calling attorneys in town to see if they drafted a Will for your him.

If those efforts prove futile, then if your father had a safety deposit box that would be a good place to look. You could also place a "Lost Will" ad in the local paper or you can check with the Probate Court in the county where he resided; it is possible that a Will was filed with it when it was executed. Finally, question other family members or friends to see if he mantioned anything about his Will to them. If that's not successful then go through any papers you can find in file cabinets and desk drawers. Basically look anywhere and everywhere.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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