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My dad was put in a will. The creator of the will passed away. How long will it take for my dad to get notified.

Turlock, CA |

My dad's friend put my dad in her will for a couple million dollars. My dad was never given a copy of the will and he never saw it himself. All he knows is that she told him that she put him in the will. She passed away in August of 2012 and it is now February of 2013. When will my dad be notified about the will and when will he receive his portion of it.

Note: There is a lot of assets. Including houses, cars and shares and ownership in a multi-million dollar company.

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Attorney answers 3


Without knowing more, it is impossible to say. Probate of Wills is not automatic. Someone with an interest in the estate must come forward and seek to open the estate and have a personal representative (executor) appointed. If this has been done, you should be able to find out at the county probate court where the friend resided at the time of her death. If it has not been done, (and I expect that is the case, since your dad has not received notice), then nothing is happening, and that is a bad sign. If that is the case, your father should retain an attorney to investigate further.

James Frederick

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Thank you Mr. Frederick. I highly appreciate it. I will be sure to led my father know.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick


You are very welcome. I wish you and your father the best. Hopefully, he will get to the bottom of this.


Since he is a friend, he is not automatically notified unless actually named in the Will (or trust). There are a few things to be done at this point. First, check with the probate court to see if the Will was lodged and/or probate case was opened. Second, check with the county recorder in any county where he may have owned property. In the alleged size of the estate, it would be unusual not to have a trust, which is handled without court supervision. You should be able to find out who the trustee is at least, if you don't already know. Then, get your dad to get a lawyer to help find out what is going on and what rights may exist pursuant to the documents. As a friend there are no ordinary rights to notification so it is possible that everything is being done correctly so far.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mrs. Cook is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in San Diego County. She is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please be advised that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used or relied upon, and cannot be used or relied upon, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.


First, ask the family if they are going to probate the will and if your dad can get a copy of it. If they refuse or ignore your request, go to the Stanislaus court and search for a probate in the friend's name. If there is no probate and your father believes he is an interested person, he can file a Petition with the court and give the family notice which will likely flush out the will. Generally if you have an attorney write a letter to the family, things will start to happen and the will should surface.

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