Where is your Will? Simple question, right? But statistics show that when someone passes away, locating the original Will is often a difficult task. Not only are family members left with the devastating loss of a loved one, but they now have to conduct a scavenger hunt, often digging through boxes in the attic, bins in the storage shed or visit safety deposit boxes only to turn up nothing.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are trying to locate a loved one’s original Will, and you have no idea if one even existed, start by contacting your local Bar Association. Typically the local Bar Association can contact their members via email to see if anyone in the area may have worked with your loved one and have the original on file.
If someone passes away without a Will or the original Will cannot be found, the estate will need to go through Probate intestate, leaving it up to a Probate Court Judge to decide who will be named your administrator and who will receive your belongings when you pass. These proceedings are public record and often lead to disputes among family members who fight over their fair share of the inheritance.
Moral of the Story: In order to make it easier on your family when you pass away, take some important steps now. If you do not already have a Will, consult with a Certified Elder Law Attorney at AlerStallings who can help you execute one. If you have a Will, put the original in a safe place that will be easy to access for your named executor and tell the executor the location of the original will.
For more information on completing your Will and making sure the original Will can be located upon your passing, please contact AlerStallings at (877) 912-3464 to consult with one of our Certified Elder Law Attorneys.