Finding a Loved One’s Will After a Death
After you have lost a loved one, trying to find his or her will is probably (and understandably) the last thing on your mind. However, it’s important to start going over the person’s estate plan as soon as possible, as you will need to file a will with the local probate court and start settling your loved one’s affairs.
Unfortunately, many people pass away without giving instructions to their loved ones about where they can find their will, which could complicate matters. In general, people tend to leave their wills in one of the following locations:
- With a lawyer. If your loved one worked with a lawyer to develop his or her will and other estate planning documents, your first step should be to contact the attorney and ask for the document, or at least a copy of the document.
- Office. If your loved one kept an office, search a safe, filing cabinet or locked desk drawer. These are all common locations to keep important documents like wills, especially for individuals who were known to be well organized.
- Safe deposit box. Some locations seal safe deposit boxes upon the death of the holder, so you might have to go through probate court to get an order to open it if you believe your loved one’s will is inside one of these boxes.
- Computer. If you are unable to find a physical version of the will, you might be able to locate a digital version by going through the files on your loved one’s computer.
For more tips and guidance on the steps you should take after a loved one has passed away, contact the knowledgeable Florida estate planning attorneys at the Charles Law Offices.