What to do if my mother-in-law has dementia and can’t tell us if there is a Will?

UPDATED: Apr 6, 2013

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What to do if my mother-in-law has dementia and can’t tell us if there is a Will?

We are having a guardian appointed for her but her house is in foreclosure so we need to get things taken care of soon. How can we find out if she had a will made and how long before we can get things out of her home?

Asked on April 6, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since you mother-in-law cannot assist in finding her Will, if in fact it exists at all, you will have to take other steps. First, did she have a lawyer who may have drawn one up or at least recommended an who could (think if she had any occassion to use any attorney for anything)? Also, did she have an accountant (many times a person will ask their financial advisor for a recommendation of this kind)? Additionally, did you look in every place where she may have filed/hidden such a document? Further, check with the local probate court to see if one was filed by your mother-in-law with them (while this is not legally required many people do file their Wills). Last but not least, ask her friends and neighbors if she ever mentioned having a Will drawn up and signed.

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