My sister died 3 days ago and I am her sister, her closest living relative. How do I find out if there is a will.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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My sister died 3 days ago and I am her sister, her closest living relative. How do I find out if there is a will.

Sister died. Her husband dead, and no children. Niece trying to take over.

Asked on January 18, 2017 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Since there has been no filing at the courthouse, you can ask questioned other family members or her friends if they know of one. If that is of no help, then you can check for a letter or business card from an attorney or see if she has paid a legal bill to one. If you find something, then you can contact them and ask if they drafted a Will for your sister. If you can't locate the lawyer any other way, start by calling the attorneys in her town to see if they drafted a Will for her. If that doesn't work, you could try and contact any adviser that she may have had such as an accountant, financial planner, or the like to see if they know of a Will. Additionally, you could also place a "lost Will" ad in the local newspaper. Finally, if she had a safety deposit box, look there. If that's not successful then go through any papers you can find in file cabinets, desk drawers, closets, between the pages of a bible, etc.

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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