Many Godfrey area residents have had to go through a situation in which one of their parent dies. These are emotional and stressful times. Not only is a child dealing with the grief of losing a parent they can also be overwhelmed with the paperwork and financial matters that need to be dealt with after someone dies. Although many have taken the time to create their will, if it is not found after their death it can be a problem.
If a person is not able to find their parent’s will after they die, there can be some options. Before a son or daughter gives up hope, they should consider some of the following options:
- Thoroughly search the deceased’s home. Check their filing cabinets, closets, glove compartments, safe, garage cabinets, under mattresses, in the trunk of their car or in their desk drawers.
- Did the deceased have a safe deposit box? A safe deposit box key is usually large with words that say “do not duplicate”. If a person finds what they believe is a safe deposit box key they should call the banks that the deceased used for checking and savings to see if they had a safe deposit box there.
- Try and track down the attorney, financial advisor, insurance agent or CPA the deceased used. Look for a business card or letterhead for an attorney who drafts wills or someone who had a relationship with the parent. They may still have a copy of the will or know who does.
- Check with the parent’s friends. Many times, friends are witnesses to the will signing and can offer information as to where it may be located.
- Check with the probate court. The will may have been filed and can be available for viewing.
After a person has exhausted the many options to find their parent’s will, consulting with an attorney who specializes in probate can be beneficial. An attorney can help the heir determine what their options may be and help them settle the estate.