How will my grandfather’s assets be distributed if the Will that he made years ago is not found?

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How will my grandfather’s assets be distributed if the Will that he made years ago is not found?

My grandfather made a Will 8 years ago after his wife died. He is estranged from his 3 children and made my brother and I (his only grandchildren) the only recipients of his money. However, the Will cannot be located by either the attorney who drafted it, nor my brother. Since the Will was made, I solely have become my grandfather’s legal guardian and he now has only liquid assets. His state of health is deteriorating and I want to be aware of the steps one goes through upon death if there is no Will.

Asked on August 8, 2011 Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Assuming your grandfather has the legal capacity to knowingly give assets away upon his passing by understanding the contents of a new will, its purpose, its significance and the intended beneficiaries under it, a new will should be prepared for him to read, review, ask questions about, sign before the required number of witnesses and date assuming the new will sets forth his wishes at this time.

The new will needs to expressly revoke all prior wills and codicils.

An attorney experienced in wills and trusts should be retained by your grandfather for this new will if that is his desire.

Also, your grandfather's treating physician should be immediately consulted by you as his legal guardian to discuss whether or not this treating physician believes that you grandfather has the mental capacity to sign a will at this point.

If the physician believes that your grandfather has the mental capacity to sign a new will and know its legal effect and the intended beneficiaries, send the physician a confirming letter as his legal guardian keeping a copy for your records.

Good luck.

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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