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How do I find out who is the executor of an estate?

Iota, LA |

The original executor died before succession began. Nothing has been done. There is a will, but we don't have access to it or know what is in the will. My father passed away in 2000 and my mother passed away in 2011. There are five children, but I know only three are named in the will and one of those passed away in February 2012 and he was the original executor. The other two are myself and my sister.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. i would check with the clerk of the court that handles probate matters to see if a will was filed. if so obtain a copy and see a lawyer. if not then you could inquire of lawyers in their community to see who wrote the will. ordinarily they will have a copy.

    without a detailed review by a lawyer can all the issues raised in your question be appropriately addressed...nothing in this response should be construed as establishing a lawyer client relationship..the answers herein are for informational purposes and not to be construed as advice


  2. Your summary raises some issues and there is not enough information to answer based on the facts given. You state that "Nothing has been done." If an estate has not been opened yet, then there IS no executor. There is only an executor once someone has been appointed by the court to serve in that role. If an estate is not opened, then the most you can have is someone who has been NOMINATED as executor. That person has no rights or powers until a court gives that to them.

    So what you *MAY* have is a situation where NOTHING has been filed and no one knows where the Will is at, if there even IS a Will. You can check with the attorney, if you know who your mother used. You can check for a safe deposit box and you can check to see if the Will was filed with the court for safekeeping.

    If you cannot locate a Will, you are probably stuck with the intestate law of Louisiana, (assuming that is where your mother resided at the time of her death). That means that ALL of the children would receive a share of the property, and the one that passed away...his share would pass according to his Will, or the intestate law, if he did not have a Will.

    Step one is to try to find the Will. If you cannot find the Will, then one of the surviving kids needs to petition the court to open the estate. Whoever does this will need a lawyer to assist them.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


  3. You need to locate either the original will or a copy. Since you say nothing has been done I take that to mean that the will was never filed with the clerk of court. You should call the clerk of court in the parish where the person died, or where he owned property. If a succession has not been opened, you should try to get the name of the attorney who did the will. He may have a copy. If so, he may be able to probate it if it can be shown that the original was lost and that another one was not done.

    Every situation is different and you should consult your own attorney to go over all the particular facts in your case. The answer given is only intended to provide general guidance regarding rights and responsibilities.


  4. You should check with the clerk of court where he your father lived or owned real property. If nothing has been filed, you can hire an attorney to file pleadings to search for the will or to name you administrator. If the original will cannot be found, the Court will have to determine if a copy should be probated or that no valid will exists. In the event that no valild wiill exists, the succession will be determined by the laws of intestacy which means the assets and liabiliities will be divided betwen your fahter's children.

    This response does not creat an attorney client relationship. In all cases, I recommend you seek a paid consultation with an attorney with expertise in this area.

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