On occasion, we tend to forget where we’ve placed things. It could be losing track of where you placed the car keys inside the house, or your wallet. Believe it or not, a will can also be misplaced, despite the importance of the document. It may not be the result of forgetting where it was. In fact, it could be because you didn’t know where the will was placed. You knew it existed, but it was never revealed to you where it was. It could be in between a couch cushion, underneath a mattress or locked up in a vault. Finding the will can be frustrating if you don’t know where it is, let alone if you don’t have a clue as to where it could be. So let’s take a look at how one can find a will.
Often, we’re asked if there’s a specific building or institution where all wills are kept. Like a bank full of wills, where one can simply just inquire about the whereabouts of the will and that group or institution has it ready for you. Unfortunately (in regards to the ease of obtaining information), there is no such place. That’s why it’s always important to keep track of the will’s location. Older generations have been taught to store the will within a safety box at a bank or financial institution. People such as the late Aretha Franklin have stored wills inside furniture. Then of course, there are people who have had their estate plan put together by their attorney. Perhaps a copy of the will can be found in the attorney’s office. Sometimes they’ll have the original copy, but more often than not, they’ll just have a copy – maybe with notes which reveal where the will could be stored.
Perhaps a fact that you didn’t know is that the will could be stored or recorded at the probate court. To be specific, the will would be stored in the probate court of the county in which the individual lived. There’s one catch however; you won’t be able to view it at the probate court if the person is alive. The reason is that it is part of the confidentiality a living person has. Once the person has passed however, the probate court can and will authorize individuals to view the will. This can only be done though upon presentation of the death certificate.
The Probate Pro can help you find a will, probate a will and put together a will for you or someone you know and love. If you have any questions related to wills or would just like to get started on an estate plan, give us a call today at 877-YOUR-FIRM. Our legal team is ready to help you turn all stones over to find the will or put one together for you.