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Finding a will?

Prineville, OR |

A relative died unexpectedly and a will could not be located in their personal files. There is definitely a will but we do not know where to begin to look. We believe that the will was changed recently and someone found it and didn't like it. Therefore, we believe they are trying to hide it in hopes that the old will (which can't be found either) will be used.

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Attorney answers 3


I am sorry to hear about your relative's unexpected death. As for the missing wills, did your relative have an attorney who might have prepared the wills for your relative? That attorney may have kept a copy or (less likely) held the original. You might want to check that out. ORS 113.035(10) sets out the allegations that a petitioner must be able to make in a probate petition with regard to a will that is lost, destroyed or otherwise unavailable. Such allegations can be contested (ORS 113.075). The more reliable evidence you have with regard to the missing will, the better.

Conrad G Hutterli

Conrad G Hutterli


I would also strongly urge you to consult an attorney experienced in Oregon probate law to assist you in sorting this out.


You can meet with an estate planning attorney. With the name of the deceased, he/she will perform a Will search via the Oregon State Bar. If an Oregon attorney drafted a Will, hopefully he/she will see the request and respond. Good luck.

Be sure to designate "best answer." Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 27 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.


My first thought is to look through the documents again for paperwork from a law office. The office may have drafted the will and retained the signed copy in a safe place. If there are papers, call the number and ask if there are any documents at the office for the relative. The office may not allow you to simply walk in and pick up the document(s), but you could at least know the location.

If someone is hiding the new will in hopes of having the old will probated, then it may be more challenging to find. Any recommendation on that issue is challenging because there are many variables that would need explained. Some proof that a new will was executed would be necessary to show the earlier one was revoked. Still, it is challenging to recommend on the hiding of a newer will.

I hope the wills turn up, and there is little conflict among the family and friends.

This is not legal advise and does not create any attorney-client relationship. Moreover, this advise is not given in anticipation of providing legal service and does not guarantee any action or further advise on my behalf.