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How do I find out if someone has left a will?

Answer

The best way to discern if a person has a will is to contact that person and ask, as noted by LegalZoom. This person may or may not grant permission to see the legally private document. If the person is deceased, Nolo advises contacting the executor in charge of handling the deceased person's estate.

A person who drafts a legal will is called a "testator," according to LegalZoom. Contacting the executor is a more direct route to information about the existence of a will. The executor can find out if specific people are named in a will that is under probate.

If the person dies without naming an executor, a court usually appoints one, according to LegalZoom. Whether an executor is chosen by a testator or appointed by the court, he is legally required to contact everyone named in the will before distributing assets. Placing a quick phone call to the executor can provide valuable information about any inheritance.

Nolo points out that contacting the county court clerk to check for a will on file is also an option. There may be instances in which heirs suspect that there is a will, but the deceased has hidden it. Nolo states that in this instance, receiving permission to search through paperwork is an acceptable option.

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