A will is the single most important document needed when a loved one passes, and not being able to locate it leaves you in a difficult situation. Without the will, the deceased’s wishes can’t be executed. However, the legal team at Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C., in the Bronx, NY advise that there are options. Before panicking, speak with your loved one’s attorney and assess the situation.
3 Tips for Finding a Loved One’s Will
1. Contact Their Attorney
In many cases, the deceased will leave a copy of their will with the attorney that helped them create it. The law firm may also keep a copy for their records if they receive consent. Begin your search by contacting their attorney. Even if they don’t have a copy of the will, they may know where your loved one decided to put it or have advice on where to look if they’ve experienced similar cases.
2. Check Safes & Deposit Boxes
Personal home safes, safe deposit boxes at banks or credit unions, or the local probate court are all potential places your loved one may have put their will for safekeeping. Each of these options won’t take much time to investigate and cross off your list, and usually have specialized personnel that can answer your questions. However, you may need a lawyer to file a court order if you can’t access certain places, so keep your attorney updated while you search.
3. Ask Friends, Partners & Extended Family
Analyzing trust is another valuable strategy for locating a will. If your loved one had close friends, business partners, or anyone that may have served as the witness to their will signing, they may know where the will is or even have a copy. Broaden your search from the obvious places. Anyone your loved one trusted may provide a lead and will likely help you search if they don’t have the document.
Courts will ultimately appoint a state executor to handle assets when a will isn’t found, so it’s essential to work with an attorney while searching. Whether you’re looking for a will or just need legal assistance, turn to the legal team at Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C. They offer comprehensive representation and are dedicated to helping clients achieve a positive outcome. Call (718) 822-0500 today to schedule a consultation and visit their website and Facebook to learn more about their law firm.