What happens if you cannot find a person's last will and testament?

Published On: 02/05/2018

What happens if you cannot locate a willIt 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. 

To learn more or get started on your estate plan, just schedule a time to visit us for a no obligation complimentary consultation.

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Post Author

Britt Stouffer

Britt L. Stouffer is a Maryland attorney experienced in Estates, Trusts, and Elder Law. With over 10 years of experience in Estates and Trusts, she has learned to appreciate how unique each client truly is. On a typical day, you will find her working on Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, Tax Planning cases, Estate Administration filings, Petitions for Guardianships, Special Needs Planning, and Asset Protection.

658 Kenilworth Dr., Ste. 203, Towson, MD 21204

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