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How to Locate Missing Estate Planning Documents

Assistance with Estate Documents in Torrance – (310) 626-4404

When a loved one passes away, surviving family members will need to start the probate process and handle any other concerns that could arise with estate planning. In an ideal situation, the decedent’s will and other estate planning records will be neatly organized and ready for family members to access and utilize. The opposite is often true, however, and estate administrators can struggle to locate all of the necessary estate planning documents, many of which may be missing.

If you need help with finding missing estate planning papers, documents, and records, call (310) 626-4404 to connect with the Law Offices of James C. Shields and our Torrance estate planning attorneys. We have more than two decades of total legal and estate planning experience. If there is a document you are having difficulty locating, you can rest easy knowing that our team is here to help you either find it or find a way to complete your estate planning process without it.

Want to know more about our services? Get a free consultation!

Ways to Locate Missing Documents

Without all of the right paperwork, it can be impossible, or at least significantly difficult, to distribute a decedent’s property to beneficiaries and carry out final wishes. This is just one of many reasons why it is so crucial to complete an estate plan sooner than later in life. Once a plan is completed, its creator or testator should keep multiple copies in multiple locations for safekeeping. Otherwise, loved ones will need to rely on uncommon or complicated methods to fulfill their estate plan.

Six methods that can be helpful when seeking missing estate planning documents are:

  • Copies from relatives: You may not have been given a copy of your loved one’s last will and testament but someone else in your family might have a copy of their own. Estate administrators may demand a copy from step-relatives, cousins, and so forth, but often need an estate planning lawyer’s help when such relatives are uncooperative.
  • Attorney’s copy: The attorney that helped the decedent draft their estate plan should feasibly have an extra copy of that plan on record. Once again, if the original drafting attorney is unavailable, cannot be identified, or will not share the information, you may need your own lawyer to intervene.
  • Court records: Sometimes a local or county court will have its own copies of the decedent’s estate plan filed or lodged away.
  • Safety deposit boxes: Most people store the most important documents of their lives into their safety deposit boxes. Let our Torrance estate planning attorney help you locate and access those boxes.
  • Home safe contents: It could be highly likely that there is a full copy of the decedent’s estate plan in his or her home safe. Getting into such a safe can be a complicated process but could also be quite rewarding.

When in doubt, or if you just want to avoid the legal legwork, you can always seek the services of the Law Offices of James C. Shields. You can work side-by-side with our estate planning lawyers in Torrance to ensure that nothing is overlooked and that all missing estate planning documents that can be found are located in a timely manner. The quicker we can find those articles, the sooner your loved ones can enjoy the inheritances and final goodwill efforts of the decedent.

Let us get right to work on your case. Contact our firm online or call (310) 626-4404 to begin.

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