How can you find out if someone who died had a Will?

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How can you find out if someone who died had a Will?

My grandpa passed away and we think he had a Will,but we can’t find anything in his possession. How can we find out if there is one or not?

Asked on July 9, 2011 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I assume that you have questioned his friends and other family members. If that's been of no use then if he had a safety deposit box I'd start there. If that's not successful then go through any papers you can find in file cabinets and desk drawers. 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 grandfather; if the attorney has retired you can contact the state bar association to get their contact information.  If you can't find any information about an attorney, contact any other advisers that your grandfather may used. A financial planner or accountant may know something.  If you have a vague recollection of him mentioning a Will being done just start calling attorneys in town to see if they drafted a Will for your grandfather. You could also place a "Lost Will" ad in the local paper. Finally, check with the Probate Court in the county where he resided.  It is possible that a Will was filed with the Court when it was executed. 


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