Finding wills online can be a complex process. You can feel as if looking for a will of a loved one is more stressful than it should be and that you can’t get to the bottom of.
Therefore, if you want to find a will online you need to know where to look and how to avoid getting into a quagmire of online results that will not get you anywhere.
So, if you have ever been confused as to how to find a will in public records then you need not worry any longer as this article will help guide you to finding the will your need when you need it.
Why Can It Be Difficult To Find A Will?
First of all, let’s explain why it can sometimes be difficult to find a will. Part of the reason it can be difficult to find a will is if your family member or the person whose will you are looking for has an especially common name.
Surnames such as Smith, Taylor and Jones are very common and therefore easy to confuse with other people of the same name.
If this common surname is combined with a relatively common first name like John or Ann then you will have even more difficulty finding the person.
Similarly, if the person you are searching for is not someone you know well or have a great deal of information on then it can be hard to figure out if the will you have found is for the right person or not.
This is a problem that can sometimes cause problems for those seeking the wills of the recently deceased as well as those searching for wills of people who died a relatively long time ago.
Finally, if you are looking for a will you might come across sites that seem to indicate that they might have a will but either don’t or are attempting to charge you money in order to see the will.
These sites can make the already frustrating process worse which is why many people simply give up looking for a will online.
However, these issues can all be overcome and are worth overcoming in order to find the will you want to.
How To Find A Will In Public Records
To begin with, in order to find a will online in public records you need to be sure that you get the facts right.
Make sure you have the person’s name, their date of death and the county that they lived in.
The most important details are their name and the county that they lived in – in some areas you don’t even need the deceased person’s date of death in order to find their will.
It is worth finding out the individual’s date of death however as this may be useful in locating the will.
It is worth stressing that you will only be able to search for the will you are looking for once and only once probate has occurred on the will.
Prior to the person’s decease only they and their lawyers will have a copy of the will and after their death and prior to probate then the only people who will be able to access the will are the lawyers and their deceased individual’s named beneficiaries.
Therefore, if neither apply to you then you will be able to only find a public will once probate is over.
Most public wills are kept by the Register of Wills department in the county in which the deceased lived.
The Register of Wills for each state and county is available online. Search either for the county or state of the deceased – if you know the state but not the county in which the deceased died then you need to find out which county it is as, if you are searching on the state’s site, you won’t be able to find the will without that information.
Once you have found the website for the Register of Wills for the individual’s state or county, look for the online services section which will allow you to search for the individual’s estate.
Once you have found the person that you are looking for, make a note of their estate number. To actually see the will, you will have to go to the deceased’s local public records office.
Once you are there you can quote the estate number, name and date of death of the person you are interested in and a clerk will search in the internal system for you.
There may be a small charge fee in order to see the will, however this is usually not a great amount of money.
Once the clerk has found it, they will present you with a copy of the will for you to look at.
Why Finding A Will In Public Records Can Be Important
Finding a will in public records can be an important achievement because it not only demonstrates that you can use the system to your advantage, but it also means you are able to ensure that you can utilise both electronic systems and in person systems to get what you want.
Finding a will can be a difficult endeavor to embark on so being successful with that endeavor should make you feel proud.
Being able to find a will can change your life and give you the kind of security that you need in order to get the information that you need.
Wills can often be tragic things because they remind us of loved ones that we have lost. But they also can bring happiness because they allow us to recognize someone’s life and see how they wished to be remembered and for their assets to be divided.
Therefore, being able to locate a will in public records will allow all of those emotions to be let out and expressed as they should be.
Wills should be seen by everyone who needs to see them because they mark the endings of someone’s journey on this earth and potentially the beginning of a new chapter for many other people.