My husbands father died in 1990. we are trying to find copy of his last will. My husbands half sister that is not related to his dad we think may have taken the money from his house and bank accounts. were can we go to see if he had a will? If he didn't what can we do if we find her?? thanks for any help you can give us.We have an address for her and phone number. We found were she and her husband moved to. We also know were there daughters live as well.
If a will was created and properly completed, an attorney may have been responsible for drafting and maintaining it. The best place to start looking would be in your father-in-law's papers. If there is no will, an intestacy probate action may have to be commenced to determine the distribution of the estate. If evidence of improper takings is available, a potential criminal action, as well as a civil action for recovery, may also be available.
The answers provided in this forum by me and transmitted by users of this forum are not to be considered legally binding in any way, nor is there an intent to form an attorney client relationship. If further information is required, seek competent legal counsel.
Goodness! It's only been 24 years since your father-in-law died. Why have you been waiting so long to ask this question? Nonetheless, let's move on toward an answer.
Wills are not usually recorded anywhere but in the probate court where the testator (person who writes the will) lives at the time he or she wants to register the will for future use or where the will is filed for probate after the testator dies. If you know your father's "regular" attorney, it he had one, then you should start there and ask if he or she helped your father draft a will. If there is no regular attorney, then review your dad's check register or credit card bills to look for a lawyer whom your father paid for anything and try there.
If you are trying to find the half sister, then there are plenty of services on the internet to do that. But a better way is to hire a skip-tracer who can access more sophisticated databases to locate her.
You will likely need the original will to open a probate in Tennessee. Under Tennessee law, if the original will doesn't exist, there is presumption that the Testator (your father) destroyed it, thereby revoking the Will. In some instances you can probate a copy, but it can be difficult.
In my practice, we do not keep the original will. We instruct our clients to keep it in a safe place and to make the sure the person named as Executor knows where the will is, and can get to it in case of death.
You might try running an ad in the local bar journal with the information. Unfortunately, the lawyer who wrote a will 25 years ago may be long gone, too.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline