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By: Scott Grossman on January 15th, 2018

7 Helpful Steps if You Can’t Find a Missing or Lost Will in California

Cannot Find a Missing or Lost Will?

When beginning the administration of an estate in California, one of your first steps will be to locate the will of the deceased. Unfortunately, the deceased does not always leave behind clear instructions as to where this document is kept, in which case you may have a missing or lost will. If you are confident that your loved one prepared a will before he or she passed, you should take the appropriate measures to find it. Otherwise, if you begin the probate administration as if the decedent died without having a will, you could have a problem that will cost significant time and money if the will is later found.

What should you do if you think your loved one had an estate plan, but there is a missing or lost will? Consider taking the following steps:

  1. Contact an experienced San Diego probate court lawyer for assistance. Your attorney can help guide your search.
  2. Check filing cabinets and other locations within the deceased’s home where important records were kept.
  3. Contact the family and close friends of the deceased.
  4. Check safety deposit boxes if the deceased had one and if you have access to it.
  5. Consult with the deceased person’s attorney. The lawyer may have the original will, or he or she may have a copy.
  6. Check to see if the deceased deposited his or her will with the San Diego probate court.
  7. Publish notice in a legal newspaper, or ask for help from the local attorney bar association.

If you are not sure whether your loved one had a will at all, view our article, I Don’t Know if My Parents Had a Will or Trust When They Died. What Should I Do?  This article provides helpful information if you find yourself uncertain of whether there was a will in place or not.

To learn more, contact an experienced San Diego probate attorney at the Grossman Law Firm. Call our office today at (888) 443-6590 for a free 30-minute phone consultation.