When someone passes away, their loved ones are left to sort out their affairs which usually begins with a last will and testament search. A last will and testament is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets should be distributed after their death. Creating a will is an important process that requires careful consideration and execution. However, locating a person’s will can be a challenging task, especially if the deceased did not leave any clear instructions. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of performing a last will and testament search and provide some tips for finding a will. Additionally, we will explore the US Will Registry as one of the ways to perform a last will and testament search.
Why is it Important to Perform a Last Will and Testament Search?
Performing a last will and testament search is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that the deceased’s wishes are carried out as per their will. Without a will, the state will distribute the assets according to their laws, which may not align with the deceased’s wishes.
Secondly, it can prevent disputes among family members regarding the distribution of assets. A will is a legal document that outlines the deceased’s final wishes. Without a will, family members may argue over the distribution of assets, leading to prolonged legal battles.
Finally, a last will and testament search can provide closure to the deceased’s loved ones. Losing a loved one is difficult, and locating their will can help provide some sense of closure for the family.
Tips for Finding a Last Will and Testament
- Check personal papers for clues of will’s existence, such as an estate planning folder.
- Contact the deceased’s attorney or estate planner to inquire about the will’s whereabouts.
- Look for wills filed with the probate court in the deceased’s county of residence.
- Inquire with the deceased’s financial institutions, which may have a copy of the will.
- Search for state registries of wills where the deceased may have registered their will.
- Consider using online databases, like the US Will Registry, to search for the will.
- Ask the deceased’s family and friends if they have any information about the will.
- Seek the assistance of a professional, such as a private investigator or probate attorney.
Using The U.S. Will Registry to Perform a Last Will and Testament Search
Performing a last will and testament search with the US Will Registry is a simple and straightforward process. Firstly, visit The US Will Registry website and click on the “Search for a missing will” tab.
Then, enter the deceased’s information, such as their name, date of birth, and state of residence. If the deceased has registered their will with The U.S. Will Registry, the system will provide you with the details of the will and its location. In the event that the deceased did not register their will with The U.S. Will Registry, the system will inform you that there is no record of the will.
Should no record be found, your search will be entered into the missing will database. Attorneys who possess a will of a deceased client can use The U.S. Will Registry’s missing will database to locate family members regarding their inheritance.
What Happens to the Assets of an Estate if No Will is Found
When a person passes away without a will, their estate is considered intestate. This means that the court will distribute their assets according to the state’s intestacy laws. These laws provide a default plan for asset distribution based on the degree of familial relationship to the deceased.
Intestate succession is the legal process by which an estate’s assets are distributed when no will exists. Typically, the court will appoint an executor or administrator to oversee the distribution of the assets. The court will then distribute the assets based on the state’s intestacy laws.
The first priority for asset distribution is usually the deceased’s spouse or domestic partner. If the deceased was not married, their children or grandchildren may be the first in line to inherit. When the deceased has no living descendants, the court may distribute the assets to the deceased’s parents, siblings, or more distant relatives, depending on the state’s laws.
The assets may escheat to the state if no living relatives can be found. In this case, the assets become the legal property of the state, and it will use them to fund various government programs.
It is important to note that the distribution of assets through intestate succession can be complex and time-consuming. Additionally, it may not reflect the deceased’s true intentions for their estate. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals create a will to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes.
Performing a last will and testament search is an essential task that can provide peace of mind to both the deceased and their loved ones. By using the US Will Registry, individuals can ensure the carrying out of their final wishes, prevent family disputes, and provide closure to their loved ones. Additionally, The U.S. Will Registry offers other services that can help individuals plan for the future, such as Secure Will Storage and the Estate Planning Guide. Registering your will with The U.S. Will Registry is a simple and straightforward process, and it can provide invaluable benefits to you and your loved ones in the future.