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How do I find my grandmas will? She passed 10 yrs ago and I was young and naive at the time and now I dont know where to start.

Hemet, CA |

Grandma told me there was a will problem is grandpa ran off with all paper a week after she passed theres so many other scandalous issues involving my grandpa im not sure if he was able to change will after she passed or what i need to do now he has Alzheimers now and is of no help

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Attorney answers 5



If the Will was probated -- filed with the local probate court -- a copy would be there. You can start in the county where your Grandma lived when she passed.

Good luck



Thank you I have tried that and no luck


First, check with the court in the county where your grandmother died to see if the will was ever lodged or probated. If not, you can try to track down the attorney who drafted it, but that would likely be like looking for a needle in a haystack. There is a good chance, if the will was never probated, that everything passed to your grandfather and it will not be distributed per his wishes when he dies.


Wills are generally required to be filed with the court following a death, so the first place to start is with the Probate Court in the county where your grandmother died. However, some attorneys keep their clients' original wills; you might find that the attorney who helped draft it has the original. If that attorney is no longer practicing and your grandmother was in CA, then the attorney may have deposited the documents with another attorney, with the court where the attorney practiced or in your grandmother's last known (to him) county, depending on the circumstances. Please see CA ethics opinion:

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I agree with what the other attorneys say, but likely Grandpa was the "custodian" of the Will and does not know it needed to filed. Or, he destroyed it, or lost it. Unfortunately, if there is a probate estate that needs to be opened to transfer title of assets, then an original Will is needed. If none can be found, then it is said a person died "intestate" and the estate will go to the legal heirs determined by the law in the State where the person died. All community property would have gone to Grandpa, and he can do whatever he wants. All separate property would go partially to grandpa and partially to any children she might have had.


I agree with colleagues. First check to see if a probate was opened in jurisdiction in which grandma resided at time she died. The will should have been submitted to the probate court. You should have received notice of the proceeding.