On August 31, 2015

After a loved one passes away, finding his or her will is going to be essential. This is because the will is central to initiating the probate process and settling an estate.

While finding a will may sound – or actually be – straightforward in some cases, in others, it can be much more of a challenge, especially if it’s been some time since the will was devised. To assist loved ones or executors in these instances, below, we’ll point out some of the best places to start looking when wills need to be located after a death.

Looking for a Will? Here’s Where to Start Your Search… 

  • Are you looking for a loved one’s will? Here’s where to start looking and what to keep in mind during your search, a Denver estate planning attorney explains.

    Are you looking for a loved one’s will? Here’s where to start looking and what to keep in mind during your search, a Denver estate planning attorney explains.

    At the decedent’s residence – This may be the obvious first place to start looking for a will. As you search a decedent’s home, start with areas where you believe the person kept other important documents, like the deed to a home/vehicles, life insurance documents, etc. Check in safes, filing cabinets and even on computer hard drives if necessary.

  • At a bank safety deposit box – If you know the decedent had a safety deposit box, this can be another important place to look for a will. If you are not sure, check recent bank statements to see if the decedent was paying fees for a safety deposit box. Be aware, however, that you may have to bring a copy of a death certificate with you to the bank in order to gain access to the safety deposit box.
  • With other loved ones – Ask the decedent’s other loved ones if they may know where the will is located. In some cases, a decedent may have disclosed this information to others, and asking can bring a lot of clarity to the situation.
  • With a professional – If the decedent had a lawyer, an accountant or a financial advisor, contact these professionals to ask about the location of the will.

Additional Tips When Searching for Wills

  • As you search for wills, do not throw anything away. You never know what documents may be important later, and tossing stuff out before probate has started can create costly problems later.
  • If you’ve looked in all of the above locations and still can’t find the will, retain a lawyer to help you. An experienced estate and probate lawyer will have experience locating wills and will know where else to look (possibly in places you haven’t considered).

Contact a Denver Estate Planning Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

When you are ready to administer an estate or you need experienced representation in probate, contact a trusted Denver estate planning attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. Our legal professionals provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and probate needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

To discuss your options during an initial consultation, contact us today by calling (303) 741-2400 or by emailing us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Estate Administration