If my father just passed, is his will a public record? 23 Answers as of July 24, 2014

I haven't seen it but I know he has a will.

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The Law Office of Kimberly D. Moss
The Law Office of Kimberly D. Moss | Kimberly Moss
Your father's will would only be a public record if he filed it with the county clerk's office in the county where he lived at the time he executed his will. If he did not, it is possible that the attorney who drafted his will has an executed original of his last will & testament. If you have a family attorney, I would ask this person whether or not he or she drafted a will for your father. Safe deposit boxes are also popular places for people to store their wills, but you may have some difficulty obtaining access to your father's safe deposit box without a court's permission. Please consult a local estate planning attorney for more information.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/24/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
In Nevada it is not a public record until it is filed.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/13/2014
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
Its not necessarily a public record.. but has a heir-at-law you have a right to see it to see if anything is due you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/13/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
The possessor of a will of a deceased person is supposed to "lodge" it with the Superior Court within 30 days. This is often done in conjunction with the filing of a petition for probate. You can index dad's name at the court to see if any of this was done.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/12/2014
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
In Nevada it needs to be lodged within thirty days of death with the District Court Clerk. At that point it is public record and a copy may be ordered.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/12/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It will become public once it is submitted to the court for probate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Not usually. You can check with the county recorder, but wills are not generally recorded. Is your mother still alive?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C.
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C. | Arthur Geffen
    The will would need to be probated or deposited with a court before it become public record.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    Illinois statute requires that a Will be filed with the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which the decedent resided. Upon filing it will be on the public record. There are sanctions if a Will is hidden or not filed in a timely manner.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    A will does not become part of the public record until it is admitted into probate.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Once a will is written, the testator (person writing the will) keeps the will him/her self. The will is only submitted to the Courts only after the person passes away and estate is opened up in the Circuit Court, the probate division, but it the public is still not privy to the will. So it is a good practice that if you write a will, to let someone know where your will is so that once you pass away your assets will be distributed accordingly.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    If your father lodged his will with the superior court in the county which he resided, the will should be available for viewing. If his will was not lodged with the court before his death, you will have to wait until his executor presents the will to initiate probate proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    It is not public record yet. You need to check his personal property to see if there is a will. If you cannot find one, see if there is a record of the law firm who drafted the will. Lastly, you can run an ad in the state Bar monthly publication to see if some attorney has the original. If you cannot find the will, you can start probate intestate (without a will). There are statutes that define who the beneficiaries are of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    It is once it is filed with the Court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    It's not a public record until someone files it for probate. If you know who has it, and that person refuses to file it, you can go to probate court and force them to produce the will to the court.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Home Town Law, P.A.
    Home Town Law, P.A. | Sabina Tomshinsky
    Generally, a custodian of the will must file it with the Clerk within 10 days of the notice of death.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Oregon law (and the law of every state) requires anyone holding an original Will to file it with the probate court soon after death. However, many Wills are never filed. Sometimes the holder does not know that the person died. Some are lost and some are suppressed intentionally. It is essential to go to the last residence and any storage areas and search for the Will immediately. An attorney can help you with this.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    A will becomes public only if someone files it with a court, such as in a probate proceeding.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    If the Will was filed with the Court, then it is part of the public record. If it has not been filed, then it is not. The person who has custody of the Will is supposed to file it with the Court, as soon as "reasonably possible."
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    That is a fact to be determined, commonly wills are filed with the county of residence, but it is not required. You should check his records and files, any safety deposit box or with the attorney who might have assisted him in writing it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    It should be lodged with the court in the county where he died within 30 days of his death. Often times they are not so you will have to track it down from whomever has it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Keep looking. No a will is not a public record. Even if you cannot locate the will just now, consider contacting a probate lawyer who can file a petition for you to administer the estate; if the will turns up, then an amendment of the petition can be made with the court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    No, the will is not part of any public record until it is filed with the Court.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/11/2014
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