Look in secure locations and other places. If the decedent had a home safe or fire box, a safe-deposit box, or another residence, look for the will there. Also look at her place of business. Self-employed people might keep a copy of their will in a cabinet or some secure place. Search through areas of personal worth, such as a baseball card collection.
Speak to the attorney who wrote the will. If you know the name of the attorney and/or the law firm's name, ask the office whether it still has a copy of the will. Most law firms keep records at least five to seven years, whether or not the drafting attorney is still with the firm. Ask the attorney the name of the executor of the will if you do not know it. The executor might have a copy of the will or know its location.
Go to the probate court. Visit the probate court in the decedent's jurisdiction and ask the clerk to conduct a search for the will. Or, ask how to conduct a search of the probate court's records. Most courts charge a fee for each printed page on record, ranging from $1 to $3 per page.
- "Wills, Probate, & Inheritance Tax For Dummies"; Julian Knight; 2008
- Superior Court of California Count of Santa Clara: How to Probate a Decedent's Estate