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What If I Cannot Find My Family Member's Will?

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

San Antonio estate planning lawyerSome families talk openly about subjects like death and estate plans. Others are uncomfortable discussing these sometimes difficult subjects. Talking about making a will can be upsetting for some, as it can serve as an unwelcome reminder that a loved one will not be here forever. If your family falls into the latter camp, you may not know much about your loved one’s estate plan. You may not even know where they put it or if they had one at all.

When it comes time to start settling your family member’s estate, you may have a limited window of time to locate their will. This can be a difficult task. Many older adults still keep hard copies of important documents, which can make your search all the more difficult. After years of practice, the attorneys at Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law have learned a few strategies for locating seemingly lost wills. 

Where Should I Look If I Cannot Find My Loved One’s Will?

Grieving for a family member is difficult enough without the added stress of not being able to find their estate planning documents. A few helpful tips that may point you in the direction of a lost will include: 

  • Ask around - Even if your parents or other relative did not discuss their estate plan with you, they may have talked about it with their friends. If your family member lived in any type of senior living community, like assisted living or a nursing home, they may have discussed the topic with their peers. The ladies your mother played cards with may know exactly where she kept her will. 
  • Check with a lawyer - If you can identify the attorney who made your loved one’s will, you may be very close to finding the will itself or at least a copy that the probate court will accept. You can check their bank records to see if they had a transaction with a law firm or look for an attorney’s business card in their wallet. 
  • Probate court - Some people file their wills with a probate court during their lifetime, especially if they fear that the will might be contested. 
  • Find a key - Quite a few people keep their wills in a safe deposit box at the bank, or in a fireproof safe in their home. Look around for a key that seems like it goes to a safe. The answer may be attached to their keychain. 

If all else fails and you absolutely cannot find the will, you may need to begin the process of intestate probate. It is possible that your loved one simply never made a will or that they intentionally destroyed a will they made. 

When you make your own estate plan, your attorney can give you guidance on how to avoid putting your loved ones in the same position. 

Contact a Texas Estate Planning Attorney

Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law understand the importance of estate planning and is dedicated to helping families who are dealing with these subjects. Our experienced Comal County estate planning lawyer can help with anything from creating a will to making it through probate. Call 210-535-0870 for a free consultation. 

 

Source:

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/how-to-find-out-if-a-loved-one-had-a-will-210723.htm

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