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How Do I Get A Copy Of My Father’s Will?

How Do I Get A Copy Of My Father's Will?

At the point when an individual dies, his advantages go to his recipients as indicated by the terms laid out in his will. On the off chance that he didn’t desert a will, he kicked the bucket “intestate,” and the probate court in the district where he lived circulates his residual resources as per state law. As the offspring of the perished, you might be qualified for a legacy paying little mind to whether your dad deserted a will. The will’s agent or the probate court must tell you of any legacy you are planned to get after your dad’s demise. The probate procedure, be that as it may, isn’t immaculate and recipients don’t generally get legitimate notice of their legacy. In the event that you speculate you might be qualified for a bit of your perished dad’s domain, you have a few choices, contingent upon whether your dad left a will.

Visit the district court in the district where your dad’s will was probated. On the off chance that the probate procedure is finished, your dad’s will involves open record. You can look through the open records held at the town hall for your dad’s will to decide if he left you any benefits. On the off chance that you don’t live in or close to the area that holds your dad’s will on record, that does not imply that you can’t get to it. Some probate courts keep up an open records database on the web. This enables you to scan for your dad’s will – and your potential legacy – while never leaving your home

Visit your state’s unclaimed property database and direct a pursuit under your dad’s name. On the off chance that any advantages he abandoned after his passing went unclaimed, the state deals with the cash until the legitimate beneficiary approaches. Albeit a few states try to find the legitimate recipients of unclaimed resources, not constantly and assets to do as such. In this way, it’s occasionally dependent upon you to find your unclaimed legacy.

Contact the executor of your father’s estate. The executor of your father’s will is responsible for managing his assets and debts following his death. This responsibility includes notifying beneficiaries of their inheritances. Because the executor has a copy of your father’s will, the executor will know how much of an inheritance, if any, your father set aside for you.

Contact the administrator of your father’s estate if he died without a will. An administrator’s responsibilities are similar to an executor’s. When an individual dies without leaving behind a will, the court appoints an administrator to ensure the deceased’s assets are distributed according to state law. The administrator of your father’s estate can explain the contents of your father’s estate and how much of that estate you are entitled to under your state’s intestate succession laws.

At the hearing, you will have to present the original will, not a photocopy, to the probate judge. The judge will examine it to determine if it appears to be valid. If the will is not obviously invalid, he will issue an order admitting it to probate. He will also formally appoint the estate executor. In almost all cases, the judge will appoint the executor named in the will. The judge will then issue documents to the executor that establish his authority to perform duties such as withdrawing money from your father’s bank account or selling estate assets. He may authorize the executor to distribute a stipend to your father’s dependents to cover their living expenses during the probate process. Finally, the judge will set another hearing date.

Would I be able to Sue My Stepmother for a Duplicate of My Dad’s Will?
On the off chance that your dad is alive, you can’t sue your stepmother for a duplicate of his will. On the off chance that your dad has passed on and your stepmother won’t give you a duplicate of his will, you can compose your stepmother a letter officially requesting a duplicate. In the event that she doesn’t react, you can begin lawful procedures with the probate court in your dad’s geographic region requesting that the court request her to create the will and submit it to the court. You would then be able to get a duplicate of the will from the court.

An English law, the Theft Demonstration of 1861, expressed that any individual who stole, devastated or hid a will during a deceased benefactor’s lifetime or after his demise could be sent to imprison for a term enduring from two years to life. In that equivalent time, American states started creating laws making different punishments for agents and beneficiaries who did not deliver a will for probate, including losing executorship and different rights under the will.

Current State Laws

In spite of the fact that state probate laws contrast starting with one state then onto the next, they each have arrangements in their resolutions that address when an individual possessing a will ignores or won’t create the will for the neighborhood probate court. In such cases, the probate court can, after accepting a request from you, request that individual to create the will or face court sanctions.

Your initial step is to contact the nearby probate court in your dad’s geographic territory and inquire as to whether a duplicate of his will was documented there previously or after his passing. In the event that the will was documented with the probate court, request that the court give you a duplicate. On the off chance that no duplicate of the will has been documented, send your stepmother a considerate, marked and dated letter requesting that her give you a duplicate of the will. Keep a duplicate of the letter for your records. You may wish to send the letter by guaranteed mail to guarantee that you have a record of having sent the letter.

On the off chance that your stepmother disregards your letter or won’t send you a duplicate of the will, you can send her a second legitimate letter, normally titled “Request to Deliver Will.” In the subsequent letter, recognize yourself as a beneficiary of your dad, express that you have not gotten a duplicate of the will as you mentioned, demand that none of your dad’s property be sold or given away until the will has been submitted to a probate court, and approach again for a duplicate of the will. Send the letter by affirmed mail and keep a duplicate of the letter for your documents.

On the off chance that you get no answer to your subsequent letter or your stepmother rejects your solicitation, you would then be able to contact the probate court and request the court to force your stepmother to record the will with the court. Requesting of the court to arrange your stepmother to create the will begins a common suit. Most trust and bequest lawyers prescribe that you employ an attorney to lead the case since probate law is perplexing. You likewise need to remember that your state may have a legal time limit, giving you only a couple of years wherein to document the case, and on the off chance that you don’t begin lawful procedures inside that time span, you will most likely be unable to force your stepmother to deliver your dad’s will


At the point when guardians pass away, and desert a last will and confirmation, their beneficiaries must explore the regularly mind boggling procedure of probate. On the off chance that your dad selected a lawyer to deal with his home, that delegate will know the systems for telling the agent, or individual agent, and getting the will exhibited to the probate court. On the off chance that there is no lawyer included, at that point as an immediate beneficiary you may have obligation regarding beginning the procedure. You should pursue a few significant strides to guarantee that the will is probated without superfluous legitimate inconveniences.

Letters of Administration

On the off chance that the individual delegate can’t do the undertaking, or if no close to home agent is named in the will, you should display the will and an appeal for probate to the state court that will deal with the procedure; this obligation is generally completed by the individual delegate. You can demand that the court name you, as your dad’s immediate beneficiary, as close to home delegate. On the off chance that the court consents to this, it will outfit you with letters of organization, otherwise called letters testamentary; this is an authoritative report that enables you to continue for your dad’s benefit to do the conditions of the will.


In the conventional course of a probated will, the court opens the case, allocates a case number, selects the individual agent of the bequest and issues the letters of organization. The individual delegate at that point makes a vow to reliably do the conditions of the will and pursue the applicable laws and methods. The court officially concedes the will into probate, as long as it meets the lawful rules set somewhere around the state for wills.


In certain states, you or the individual delegate must distribute an open notice of your dad’s demise in the paper. This lawfully tells people in general of the passing, enabling anybody with cases to the home to approach and record their cases with the probate court. At the point when a will is confessed to probate, it ends up open record; loan bosses have a restricted timeframe, be that as it may, to document any cases against the domain.

The last advance is to guarantee that a stock of the bequest exists or is drawn up. You father may have set one up as of now; if not, the court will require a total rundown of every one of his benefits including ledgers, ventures, land, vehicles, pontoons, and resources, for example, work of art, adornments, accumulations, collectibles, and so forth. The individual delegate named in the will can complete this undertaking, however by and large, he will require your help, or that of another relative, to guarantee the stock is exceptional and precise.

Will Validity

A valid will is necessary to distribute estate assets in accordance with your father’s wishes. It should be printed and signed by your father or by someone authorized to sign on your father’s behalf. Some states accept handwritten wills but not all so know your state’s restrictions. Many states require at least two witnesses to sign the will as well. The will must contain original signatures — in other words, it can’t be a photocopy of the will your father actually signed. If your father’s will doesn’t appear to meet these requirements, search his belongings to see if he executed another will that does meet these requirements.

Preliminary Procedures

The probate process is initiated when someone, whether or not the estate executor, delivers a copy of the will and a certified copy of your father’s death certificate to the clerk of the county probate court along with an application for probate. The county coroner or the mortuary where your father’s body was taken prior to the funeral should have access to a copy of the death certificate; the clerk of the county probate court should have access to applications for probate. Alternatively, you might be able to download an application for probate from the county probate court’s website. The application for probate will probably request only basic information such as your father’s name and the name of the estate executor he appointed. Once you have delivered these documents to the probate court clerk, the court will set a hearing date and notify the executor. The executor and the probate court handle all further probate administration. If you are not the executor, you will have no further duties.

Estate Assets

The executor must catalog all estate property. He must pay off all of your father’s creditors before distributing any property to heirs, even if this means selling estate assets to raise cash to pay debts. He must also collect any money owed to the estate such as your father’s last paycheck or a tax refund. The court will set a waiting period during which a hearing will be held to allow estate creditors or heirs to challenge the distribution of property under the will — and to allow interested parties such as would-be heirs to contest the validity of the will. If the will is fiercely contested, several hearing may be necessary. After the waiting period expires, the probate court makes a final determination as to how estate property is to be distributed and to allow the executor to distribute it.

Probate Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with probate, estate planning, or wills in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD


Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506