How to Find a Last Will

by April Kohl
Examining the deceased's paperwork can uncover the will.

Examining the deceased's paperwork can uncover the will.

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Following the death of a loved one, the executor needs to put the estate in order as per the instructions left in the deceased's will. However, in order to do this, the will must be located. This can be difficult when the location of the will is not known. Knowing how to find a person's last will and testament is therefore important.

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Step 1

Collect all the deceased's paperwork and important documents. Search through these documents, as many people keep their wills with their other important papers. Because it is possible for people to update their wills with codicils or create entirely new wills at a later date, it is important to check through all documents rather than stopping once one will is found.

Step 2

Check the paperwork to find the name and contact details of the deceased's attorney, if they had one, or another professional such as an accountant. Contact the attorney, accountant or other professional person who would have been in a relationship of trust and confidence with the deceased. Inquire as to whether they hold the last will and testament.

Step 3

Locate the probate court responsible for the area in which the deceased resided. Inquire about whether a notarized will for the deceased is recorded by the court. Some courts allow wills, known generally as self-probating wills, to be recorded. If it is, the court will be able to provide a copy of it for a small fee.