How do you know if there was a will left by an ex

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How do you know if there was a will left by an ex

the ex family has no contact but does have phone numbers of ex’s children — are they required to inform about the will and/or being a beneficiary

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Probate laws vary quite a bit from one state to another, and that can include the notice requirements.  However, I would be very surprised to find a state that did not require a copy of a will being probated, or for which letters testamentary were issued (court document making the executor "officially" the personal representative of the estate), to be filed and made part of the public record.

The state law that matters, here, is determined by where the deceased last made his or her home, and the court for that place would be the best place to look, to see if a will has been filed.  You should know, however, that even if a will is not changed by the person who made it, most states automatically remove a spouse from a will when a divorce happens later.

To follow up on this, you should talk to a qualified attorney. One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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