How Do You Find Out if You Were in Someone’s Will?

 In Wills

Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash


How do you find out if you were in someone’s will?


After someone has died, anyone holding their original will is required to record it at the appropriate probate court, the one that covers the town or county where the individual lived at the time of death. So, you can go to that court to see if a will has been recorded and what it says. Some courts also have online access.

If you believe that you are the beneficiary of a will that has not been filed with the probate court, if you are aware of the attorney who drafted it, you may contact their office to inform them of the death of their client. If they are holding the will, they should provide it to the personal representative or record it at the probate court. If you believe someone else is holding it, you may contact them and let them know of your state’s law requiring the will’s recording. If they still refuse to file it, you may ultimately have to go to court to obtain a court order that they do so.

Be aware that these days, property often passes other than as directed in the will. Any accounts that are jointly owned go to the other owner or owners. Accounts with named beneficiaries pass to those beneficiaries. And anything in trust will go as directed in the trust. All of these may well be private making it difficult to learn where the property goes or if you are a beneficiary. If you believe you may be the beneficiary of an account you may contact the bank or financial institution where it is held. They will not tell you anything if you are not a beneficiary, but should let you know if you are.

Related Articles:

What is Probate Property and What Isn’t?

Where Should You Store your Estate Planning Documents?

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