Q: How do I obtain a copy of someones will? I have been to the courthouse and they say they do not have one on file.
A: Unless the will has been filed with the court, your only options are good old fashioned detective work. Try calling estate planning attorneys in the area to see if any of them have it. Look through the decedent's files if you have access. Or, if you know who has it, then ask for a copy from him or her. They may or may not provide it to you, depending on whether you are legally entitled to a copy.
A: After a Kansas resident passes away, any will known to exist is to be filed with the court and probate proceedings initiated within six months. K.S.A. 59-617. Probate is essential to give effect to the will. K.S.A. 59-616. The person(s) with access to the will have an affirmative obligation to file it. K.S.A. 618. If you are an heir at law or a person named in the will, you may demand access to the will if you know who might have the document. It may be necessary to file a case to open the estate and ask the court for an order require it be provided to the court. K.S.A. 59-621. If the terms of the will are known but the original cannot be located, a petition may be filed to probate the lost will. Any person with an interest in a possible estate as an heir, beneficiary of the will, or a creditor of the deceased, may file a probate case in the county of residence of the decedent to open an estate. Notice will be provided to known heirs and the public generally. Such a case will be the proceeding in which any discovered will would normally be probated. If you have an interest in the estate, you should consult with legal counsel to determine how best to protect your interest.
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