When a parent passes away not only do you have to deal with the tremendous grief of losing a parent, but you often have to deal with their estate. Many Decatur area residents have spent the time to create their estate plan which can make it easier for a family during this difficult time. But if a son or daughter cannot find the will, what happens next?
If you can’t find your parent’s will, there are some steps you should take.
- Check typical hiding places. You should check some typical hiding places in their home and car. These may include a box in the closet, under a mattress, in a safe, in the car’s trunk or glovebox, garages, and between pages in a book.
- Safe deposit box. Did your parents have a safe deposit box? The will could be located there. If you’re not sure look for a large key that has “do not duplicate” stamped on it. You can also check with the bank your parents used to see if they had a box rented.
- Attorney business card. Look through your parent’s papers and see if you can find a business card or letterhead of the attorney who drafted the will. Often, they will have a copy of the will.
- Financial advisers. If you cannot find any information regarding the attorney, check with your parent’s financial planner, CPA, or insurance agent. They may know the attorney who was used.
- If you still cannot locate the will, you can talk with your parent’s friends. They may know which attorney was used.
- Probate court. You can check with the county’s probate court to see if a copy of the will was filed with the court.
A legal professional who is skilled in estate administration and probate can help their client with any estate matters that arise after a death. They know this is a difficult time for their client and they will work tirelessly to guide them through the probate process as smoothly as possible.