How to check a probated will

Updated March 23, 2017

Probated wills are wills that have been authenticated and approved by the court for disbursement. Probated wills are public record, which means that anyone can request a copy of a will. If you were not informed, but suspect that you had an inheritance under a probated will, there is a simple procedure for getting a copy of the will.

Contact the probate court filing office for the county where the decedent died.

Give the file clerk the name of the decedent and request a copy of the will. Some states may also require that you know the date of death or the date of probate, as it may be filed under this information instead.

Pay the clerk for a photocopy of the will and read through the will. If your name is mentioned with a specific inheritance, then you may have inherited something under the will.

Contact the assigned executor of the will and inquire about your inheritance. There are typically two possibilities: either the item is still available, but they had trouble locating you, or the item had to be sold to pay the decedent's debt, in which case you cannot inherit it.

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Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer and efficiency analyst. He has more than five years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. Along with his technology background, White enjoys carpentry and plumbing.