How can I find out if my father had a will? 4 Answers as of June 14, 2011

My father passed away a year ago, survived by my step mother and my 3 brothers and me. He had told us that he had a lot and a trailer for each of us boys, but my step mother will not share the contents of a will and we do not know who the executor is. The county recorder does not show any property listed under my father's name, but he was known to have at least five or six plots. How can we find out this info?

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William Reed
William Reed | William Reed
I take it that you are not on friendly terms with the widow. In a conflict situation, you may file an intestate probate proceeding, take her testimony under oath, and publish notice in the local newspaper. If it is discovered, it can be filed with the court.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/14/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
You should check with the Probate Court in the County in which your father passed. Your stepmother may not have filed the document if it was not necessary for her to continue with her daily activities. You could contact attorneys in the area of your father's residence, mention his passing and notify them that you are looking for the Will in order to open your father's estate. Even if the attorneys do not have the document, they may be able to assist you in obtaining it.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 6/14/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
The best thing to do is consult with an estate lawyer and ask to have an Administration proceeding filed in the Surrogates Court. That way, if there is a Will, it will probably force it out of "hiding" or from being hidden any longer. If there is an Administration proceeding done, it will give you and your siblings more than an equal share of any estate that may exist. It may also give your attorney the right to question the step mother about the whereabouts of any Will and any property of your fathers. Oh, and you can also have the attorney make a written demand of your stepmother ahead of time just to be sure she isn't willing to turn anything over voluntarily. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/13/2011
Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
Either you run around aimlessly, or you see a lawyer, who will know how to research land and probate records. If there has been no probate, he can also file a probate on your behalf and the facts will usually come out during the case.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/10/2011
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