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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, February 15, 2016

What If My Client Can’t Find a Loved One’s Will

Not being able to find a loved one’s will can be a stressful situation. However, if this does happen the most important thing to do is to simply keep calm. There are many ways to get around this even if a copy of the will is nowhere to be found. Here are some recommendations for when this does happen:

  1. Contact the probate court and see if the will has been admitted to probate. Chances are if this has happened, a family member or a lawyer has submitted the original copy.
  2. Look for a safe in your family member’s home. Many times people will keep important documents such as wills and financial records in safes somewhere in their home.
  3. If your loved one used an estate lawyer, look through financial records and checkbooks. Chances are the lawyer has the will or the trust that was signed.
  4. Look for the name of any financial advisors they may have used. Things like business cards can contain this information and the advisor may have the location of the document.
  5. Some people hide documents in places people would not normally look, like the refrigerator. Believe it or not some people do hide their wills in strange places.
  6. Reach out to other family members. if you do not know where the will is, chances are maybe someone else in the family might know.

 Communication is essential so that situations like this are kept under control. There are plenty of ways that a will can be found so it is important to stay calm and go through these steps.


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