Where can I inquire about a last will and testament? 11 Answers as of February 17, 2012

Is there any way to determine if a will submitted for probate is the most recent? There is reason to question it.

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Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
The executor designated by the will should present what he or she believes to be the most current will to the court for probate and seek letters testamentary (official appointment as executor). The probate court is charged with the task of probating the will. Probating the will includes decreeing that the document introduced as the will of an individual was intended to be the last will and testament of that individual. That the individual had capacity to make a will as of that time, that the will was validly created in accordance with the law, that it complies with the necessary formalities, and that the will is not tainted by forgery, fraud, or undue influence. If you believe that the will submitted to probate is not the most recent you should meet with an Indiana attorney who can assist you in contesting the will.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 11/17/2011
THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C.
THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C. | Donald B. Lawrence, Jr.
Any person holding a will of a decedent is required by statute to file the document with the Probate Court in the county of the decedent's residence. However there is no requirement for a person making a will to maintain it in any certain fashion. Sometimes an executed will is maintained in a safety deposit box or a home safe or even at the attorney's office. Obviously where it is stored should be safe and known to members of the family or those charged with carrying out the provisions of the will. As to the issue about a different will, if you have access to your decedent's papers or know who the attorney for the decedent was, that information may provide leads to any other documents. It may be easier in a small town than in a larger city but it will be a challenge. The reasons you suggest would justify a challenge may also give clues as to where to inquire.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/16/2011
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
There is not an easy way to determine if the Will submitted is the last Will executed. You could start by contacting the attorney who prepared the Will to see if any updates were made. If you have access to the Decedent's bank or credit card records you could look for payments to an attorney. You should probably discuss the next steps with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/15/2011
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
In Florida, Wills do not get deposited with the Court until death. There is no central depository for Wills, so the only way to find out if there was a later Will that was executed would be to check with the attorney who initially drafted the Will and to look through the decedent's personal papers to see if there is any indication of a more recent Will.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/15/2011
Broad Law Firm, LLC
Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
If you are a beneficiary or potential beneficiary, you can challenge the will but you will have to show that it was not proper under the law or that a more recent will exists. However, to show the latter, you will have to actually find the more recent will. There is no one place that wills can be found. You should check desks, file cabinets, bank safe deposit boxes, safes, and attorney's offices where you think the deceased may have done business.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 2/17/2012
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You have to provide us any underlying facts for us to better answer the question.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If there is another will, you would need to produce it as a more recent will. Any inquiry would have to be any person you may think may know of the existence and location of a will. Absent another will being produced, the will introduced into probate is deemed the most recent will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Siegel & Siegel, P.C. | Sharon M. Siegel
    In NY, wills are not recorded. However, if you challenge the will, you could request prior wills in discovery. Objections need to be in a specific format.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    You can check the public records in Surrogates Court but there is no requirement to file a will and many, if not most, people don't. The best spots to check would be at the deceased's residence or any safe deposit boxes he or she may have.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC | Dean D. Stein
    Anyone who admits a will to probate is going to maintain that to their best knowledge the will offered is "the last" will of the decedent. You would have to have some knowledge of a later will or actually be able to produce a later will.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    A search of the deceased's personal effects or contact the lawyer who did the Will. A Will can be changed, if the Will that was probated is the latest then it will be valid. If you think a Will is newer than the one probated then you must find the newer Will and challenge the estate in probate.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/14/2011
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