if my father recently passed, how can I find out if he had a Will and if I am mentioned in it?

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if my father recently passed, how can I find out if he had a Will and if I am mentioned in it?

Asked on November 19, 2012 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can ask friends or other family members if they know if a Will was drawn up. If one was, then if you were a beneficiary you would have been notified (or at least will be once it is presented for probate). If his estate has been entered into probate already, the Will would have been filed with the the probate court in the county where he resided at the time of his death. Once filed it becomes a matter of public record and accordingly it can be viewed by anyone.    

However, you should be aware that some assets can be transferred outside of probate. So, for example, if your father had a small estate, property may have been transferred by affidavit. Additionally, some of his assets may have been held as "joint tenants with right of survivorship", in which case the other joint tenant would have received your father's share of property by operation of law. In addition, funds in an IRA, pension, 401(k), or other retirement plan bypass probate, which means that they go directly to named beneficiaries. The same holds true for any life insurance proceeds.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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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