How can you enforce a Will if2 of the children have misplaced it?

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How can you enforce a Will if2 of the children have misplaced it?

After the death of the father, 1 of the children is taking anything they want out of the house. The details of the Will have disappeared. Do we have any recourse?

Asked on August 1, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Have you questioned your father's friends and other family members? If that's been of no use then if he had a safety deposit box that would be a good place to start. If that proves unsuccessful then go through any papers you can find in file cabinets, desk drawers, etc. Basically look anywhere and everywhere - even the tackle box in the back of the closet or between the pages of a bible.  If you still don't find a Will, be on the look out for a letter or business card from an attorney.  If you find communications from an attorney, contact that person and ask if they drafted one for your father (if the attorney has retired you can contact the state bar association to track them down).  If you can't find any information about an attorney, contact any other advisers that your father may used. A financial planner or accountant may be of help.  If you have a vague recollection of your father mentioning a Will being done just start calling attorneys in town to see if they drafted a Will for him. You could also place a "Lost Will" ad in the local paper. Further, you can check with the probate court in the county where he resided, it's possible that a Will was filed with the court when it was executed. 

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Have you questioned your father's friends and other family members? If that's been of no use then if he had a safety deposit box that would be a good place to start. If that proves unsuccessful then go through any papers you can find in file cabinets, desk drawers, etc. Basically look anywhere and everywhere - even the tackle box in the back of the closet or between the pages of a bible.  If you still don't find a Will, be on the look out for a letter or business card from an attorney.  If you find communications from an attorney, contact that person and ask if they drafted one for your father (if the attorney has retired you can contact the state bar association to track them down).  If you can't find any information about an attorney, contact any other advisers that your father may used. A financial planner or accountant may be of help.  If you have a vague recollection of your father mentioning a Will being done just start calling attorneys in town to see if they drafted a Will for him. You could also place a "Lost Will" ad in the local paper. Further, you can check with the probate court in the county where he resided, it's possible that a Will was filed with the court when it was executed. 


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