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My Father recently passed. How Do I Find A Will?

Posted on Thu Jul 14, 2016, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: How Do I Find a Will

Most Recently Updated August 9, 2018.

How Do I Find A Will

Probate Attorney, Kelly Barse.

“My father remarried and then recently died, how do I locate the Will?  He just died in Bucks County, married to my step-mother. We don’t get along. I’ve tried to get His wife to produce his will but she will not respond to my calls.”

How Do I Find a Will

Start Your Search With The Bucks County Register Of Wills.

Attempting to locate the Will can be challenging, and even more so when a step mother occupies your parent’s house after death refusing to share information.  Even though a stepparent is putting up roadblocks, you can still find out if your father had a Will. The first step to locate a will is to check if one has been filed with the Register of Wills.  Your father died a Bucks County resident, so you should check with the Bucks County Register of Wills.

If there is no will, the next option is to contact your father’s estate planning lawyer to request information about the Will’s location.  If you don’t know the lawyer but you feel that your stepmother is hiding the will or she is simply refusing to release the will, then in Pennsylvania, the process is handled by filing a petition with the Orphans’ Court.

Bucks County Orphans’ Court Option.

In your case, this would be the Bucks County Orphans’ Court. At this point, you are best served by hiring an experienced Estate and Trust Litigation Attorney.  This lawyer will draft the appropriate Petition. The Petition requests that the judge issue an order your stepmother to produce the will.  If she fails to respond, she is in contempt of court.  

A Second Option.

Another option is using an experienced Probate Attorney. If you have not seen a Will and your stepmother denies its existence; perhaps there is no Will? We could help you file for an Administration of the estate, taking the position that your father had no Will.  Once she receives word that you are attempting to open an Administration, if your stepmother was hiding the Will she will likely rush quickly file it with the Register to halt your attempt.  If there is no Will, the process to open an Administration was inevitable. 

If your father had no Will, then 1/2 of his probate assets pass to your stepmother and 1/2 pass to his descendants. 

See my website for more information about Pennsylvania Intestacy Rules.

More Probate Questions?

Finding a lost will is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: How Do I Find A Will

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining “How Do I Find A Will.” Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do

Tags:

Bucks County, Death, Estate Litigation, Kelly Barse, Pennsylvania, Peter Klenk, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer, Wills

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Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

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I saw four lawyers and was told by all of them; I should just forget contesting my mother's will. I knew what happened, but it is very hard to prove undue influence. I contacted the Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk & Associates. Attorney Amanda DiChello took my case. They were very honest and upfront about what would be involved trying to prove what I knew was true. Attorney DiChello may be young but she is extremely knowledgeable and skilled. She listened and understood what I conveyed to her. She knew exactly what information to use and crafted an outstanding interrogatory and many powerful depositions. Attorney DiChello understood the various emotional feelings this case created for my family and me; she was always there for us with a kind and encouraging word. We went to trial. The amount of work which she and her Paralegal did for the trial was incredible. They both knew my case inside and out! Attorney DiChello's powerful interrogative and thinking skills produced a positive outcome. Attorney DiChello did what other seasoned lawyers said was impossible!

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I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link for a question regarding a will. While I was expecting only a few minutes, it was a lengthy conversation. He made sure he understood the situation by asking many questions before offering advice. He then went through my options and results of each one. He left it up to me to decide if I wanted to proceed and did not push me toward one or another. His website has very useful information which I definitely researched before I called him. While I decided not to proceed at this time, I feel I had enough information to make that decision. I would not hesitate to hire him should I need to in the future.

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