The death of a family member in Tennessee can be a stressful situation. When the family member is a mom or dad, children can be left grieving and overwhelmed by what needs to be done. Settling a person’s estate can be complicated and one thing that is involved is going through a person’s will. But what happens if the will cannot be found? What steps can a family member take?
Usually when a person creates their will, they leave instructions as to where the will can be found upon their death. But occasionally a person’s will cannot be found. There are certain things an heir should do in this situation.
- Check typical hiding places. These can include file cabinets, desk drawers, glove box in their car, closet, safe, garage, or under a mattress.
- Check safe deposit box. If the deceased had a safe deposit box, the will could be located in it. A person can look for the key in the house or call the bank where the deceased had a checking or savings account to see if they owned a safe deposit box.
- Look for attorney. A person should check to see if they can find the business card for an attorney in the deceased person’s things. The attorney may know where the will is being kept.
- Check with advisors. A financial planner, CPA or insurance agent may know if the deceased had a will and where it is located.
- Check with friends. Often times a person shares information about their will with their friends.
- Probate court. A person can check with the probate court in the deceased’s county to see if a will has been filed.
A legal professional who specializes in estate administration and probate can help their client with their probate matters. They understand that a family is going through a stressful time after the death of a loved one and will work to make sure the probate process is explained in a way that makes sense.