What happens if you cannot find a person's last will and testament?Published On: Monday, February 05, 2018
It depends on a number of factors. The first being whether the will is missing because the deceased person destroyed it as a way of intentionally revoking the will. If this is the case, then an earlier will may be probated or the estate will be distributed under the laws of intestate succession.
If the original will simply cannot be found, then what happens?
The probate court will require a thorough search of the decedent's home, properties, safe deposit boxes and any place a will may reasonably be located.
If a will is still not recovered, then an inquiry to all attorneys that may have drafted a will or helped the decedent in other related capacities may be conducted. This inquiry will often extend beyond attorneys to financial planners, accountants, insurance agents and bankers known to work with the decedent.
If you still cannot find the will, your next step should be to contact an attorney to determine how the estate will be settled without a will. Contact Stouffer Legal to discuss your specific situation.
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