Wills: Tell someone who your lawyer is!

by Lynn

My husbands father died of a heart attack. A couple of weeks before he died, he offered for my brother-in-law to see his will. He pointed to an area in his apartment, saying "it's right over there if you want to see it."

After he died, the will was gone. Nobody knew what lawyer he used, or if he had a lawyer draw it up. He owned commercial real estate and personal properties. We are pretty sure we know who "disappeared" the will, so they could continue to live free in the commercial real estate and nobody can fix the apartments he owned, sell them or kick the person out. :-(

Because this person is one of the siblings, the only way for everyone to get their inheritance would be to break the family apart. Meanwhile the apartments and homes are in dire need of repair and will not be worth much by the time we can sell them. (Waiting for sibling to die or move. :-/ )

The moral of the story is to make sure you have a lawyer file your will and tell more than one person who your lawyer is.

Lynn: Wow.. incredible! I can't believe the other siblings stand by and simply let this happen. Why not check with the County to see if the will was filed with them? Call your County Probate Court to ask, then ask who the big probate attorneys are locally. You might call a few and ask... why not? You may not find it, but you never know, you might (OR one attorney asks a few others). A death notice (however long ago), in the local newspaper, might also be helpful... you never know who reads it!

IF you located a will, then it's a family decision what to do with it. But at least, they should try a few things to search for it... best wishes!

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Tell Someone Who Your Lawyer is
by: Phyllis S.

Thanks so much for submitting this article, it was VERY eye-opening!

In my case, my husband doesn't believe in wills and thus will never make one but then again we are childless. However, the will would protect me should I outlive him but he doesn't care I guess as he doesn't want to make out a will!

There's no point in my making one out because I don't have anything of my own, unless you count what we have together.

I am also on disability and live off that money but heaven's forbid my husband goes before me....well,, that's another story!

wendy: Phyllis, I never had children either... Here in Michigan, if either of us was to die without a will, a percentage of the estate would go to the deceased partners family.

Married With No Children, in Michigan -- About one-third to one-half of the estate goes to the surviving spouse. The rest goes to the parents of the deceased. If the parents are dead, brothers and sisters split the estate.

I don't know your circumstances -- but just think, you could lose HALF of whatever you own to his family. What IF you outlive him by 10 years? 20 years? The same goes for HIM -- he could lose half of what he has worked for all these years to your family.

Just an idea.. if you click the US Legal Forms button to the right, find Wills and your state, you can check out the details -- and even buy the package online. Assuming you have a relatively simple estate like most of us do, you can buy the wills online and just complete them. Then he doesn't have to see an attorney....

Just a thought -- tell your husband to check this out too.

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