How do you find out if a Will has been filed for a recently deceased person?

UPDATED: May 22, 2012

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How do you find out if a Will has been filed for a recently deceased person?

My wife’s father recently passed away and we do not have a good relationship with his wife. We want to find out if there is a way to tell if he had a Will because we have been told that if he doesn’t have one the children are entitled to 2/3 of estate.

Asked on May 22, 2012 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If a Will has been offered for probate it would be filed in the county in which her Father resided at the time of his death.  And it is a public record so she can view the file.  If there was no Will then he died intestate and the intestacy statutes in your state will apply. Now, if he died without a Will the children would be entitled to a portion of his estate that did not pass automatically to his wife at the time of his death.  Anything jointly held went to her by operation of law and is not part of his estate.  Good luck. 

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