Q: Is there a way to find out if someone is named in a will or trust without contacting widow?
A: Not unless the papers have been filed with the court because of the death of testator or trustor. Before that time the papers are private.
A: California Probate Code §§ 8200 (a) and (b) provide that it is the duty of the custodian of the Will, to lodge the Will with the superior court (having jurisdiction) within 30 days after the custodian had knowledge of the testator's death. Additionally, a custodian is liable to anyone injured by the failure to timely lodge the Will with the court. This includes pour-over Wills which typically are included with a Trust. Check the records at the courthouse in the county where the decedent passed away or where they owned property.
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