Your Guide to Funeral Planning | 09.13.2023

How to Find Someone’s Will After Their Death: Step-By-Step

How to Find Someone’s Will After Their Death: Step-By-Step

Reviewed By: JOSHUA SIEGEL

Cross Checked By: SCOTT GINSBERG

3 min read

How Do You Find A Will Of A Deceased Person

Losing a loved one is a deeply emotional experience, and amidst grief, there comes a time to handle their affairs. One crucial task is finding their will, which holds their final wishes and instructions. It's a bittersweet journey, filled with memories and a longing to honor their legacy. 

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7 Best Ways to Find Someone's Will After their Death

Finding someone's will after their death can be a crucial step in handling their estate and ensuring their final wishes are fulfilled. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to find someone's will:

  1. Contact the Executor: The first step is to reach out to the executor named in the deceased person's estate planning documents. The executor is responsible for managing the distribution of assets and is likely to have a copy of the will.
  2. Check Safe Deposit Boxes: If the deceased had a safe deposit box, inquire with their bank about any wills or important documents stored there. You may need to provide proof of your relationship or legal authority to access the box.
  3. Consult with the Attorney: If the deceased person had an attorney, contact them to inquire about the existence and location of the will. Attorneys often keep copies of their clients' wills or have instructions on how to locate them.
  4. Search at Home: Look for any indication of a will at the deceased person's home. Check safes, filing cabinets, desk drawers, or other secure places where they may have kept important documents.
  5. Contact the Probate Court: If you are unable to locate the will through the above steps, contact the probate court in the jurisdiction where the deceased person lived. They may have a registry or records of wills filed with the court.
  6. Inform Close Family and Friends: Reach out to close family members and friends of the deceased to inquire if they have any knowledge of a will or its location. They may have been informed or have seen the document.
  7. Hire a Professional Search Service: If all else fails, consider hiring a professional search service specializing in locating wills and estate planning documents.

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Remember, the process of finding a will may vary depending on your jurisdiction's laws and the specific circumstances surrounding the deceased person's estate. It's advisable to consult with a legal professional to ensure you follow the appropriate procedures.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How to find out if someone has a will after they die?

Answer: Check personal records and contact the executor of the estate.
Consult legal professionals, check probate court records, and search online registries for any existing wills.

Q2: Can someone hide a will from you?

Answer: Yes, someone can hide a will from you. If the deceased did not disclose the existence of a will or intentionally concealed its location, it may be challenging to locate the document. In such cases, thorough searches of personal records, legal assistance, and investigation may be necessary to uncover the hidden will.