Q: My grandmother passed away two months ago. She had a will but we cannot find a copy, nor can we track down the attorney
What is our next step? We have tried phone, email & every social media option to find the attorney.
A: You should work with an attorney where your mother was living at the time the will was prepared. An attorney might have better luck knowing which attorneys to contact and have a chance to visit with those attorneys. There is a duty to make reasonable inquiry to locate the will, and your attorney could help you determine what those reasonable steps are so that the court may be informed.
If the terms of the will are known, it is possible to seek probate of a lost will. Typically, a lost will situation is when there is a copy of the document available. While there is a presumption that a lost will was revoked, it may be overcome by affirmative evidence. If there is no will and the terms are unknown specifically, but the family has some agreement, it is possible for all the heirs and potential legatees and deviseees to enter into a settlement agreement. Barring an agreement, the heirs at law are entitled to the net proceeds of the estate.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.