How can we find out if my mother-in-law had a Will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can we find out if my mother-in-law had a Will?

She passed away 7 years ago and she had a house that was left to my husband and his 2 brothers. Now 1 brother is trying to take over the house but my husband has paid the taxes on the it, plus he has been doing work to keep it up. Is there something he can do?

Asked on February 16, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can look through your mother-in-law's papers and see if there is a will.   Wills are not required to be filed with any clerk... so often, it's just a matter of going through the papers to find it.  If she had a recent attorney or a family attorney, then you may want to call that attorney and see if they kept a copy of any wills on her behalf. 
If there is no will, then your husband needs to make an application for probate.  This is where the court decides which heir gets what and who can do what with any property items.  This will keep Brother No. 1 from coming in and taking over the situation.

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