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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 7 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.


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