deceased father’s will

UPDATED: Apr 25, 2018

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deceased father’s will

my stepmother states my father did not have a will but I know better, how may I
obtain a copy from Los Angeles, ca? He has been deceased for 5 years

Asked on April 25, 2018 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the will was never probated or filed in court, you might never find it. Wills only need to be filed when they are going to be probated: that is, there is no central registry or repository for wills prior to someone trying to give effect to one, after the testator (person making the will) passes away. Generally, only the person, his lawyer (if he used a lawyer to make one) and any other person(s) he voluntarily chose to hold a copy (a spouse; a child; whomever he selected as an executor or personal representative; etc.) will have a copy. If none of the likely persons (his wife; his attorney; maybe a good friend or his accountant) has a copy (or will admit to having a copy), you will probably never locate one.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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