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How to Find the Executor of a Will

Updated February 21, 2017

In a will, the executor is a person or organisation responsible for seeing out the terms of the document. They are responsible for collecting the deceased's assets and settling their debts, according to Lawyers.com. After the case is presided over by a judge, the executor is responsible for distributing the assets. Because wills and property records are public documents, finding the executor is relatively easy.

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  1. Try to determine in which county the will may have been filed. Read newspaper obituaries or death notices to see where funeral and burial services took place, and also to note the names of surviving relatives and potential executors of the will. The deceased may not have been buried in the area where they last resided. Perhaps they were returned to their native community, or to a place where most of their relatives live. The death certificate filed at the county office building should also note where burial took place.

  2. Contact probate courts based on where the deceased person last resided, where they were buried, or where surviving relatives lived. Provide the court clerk with the name of the deceased, and also some names of surviving relatives noted in the obituary to see if they have a match. In some counties, probate court information may be online.

  3. View the will papers filed in county court. This may be something you have to do in person. If the executor is an organisation, you may have to take additional measures to find contact numbers for that entity and its representatives.

  4. Check with the county clerk's office to see if there are any filings for that organisation, such as a business certificate that might include a phone number or a person's name. The state department should also have information on company and corporation filings, which may be online. Run the organisation's name through an online search engine, and look for it in the telephone listings.

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Things You'll Need

  • Access to local probate court and county office building


About the Author

Aaron Gifford

Aaron Gifford is based in New York. He has been on staff at the "Syracuse Post-Standard," the "Watertown Daily Times" and the "Oneida Daily Dispatch." He's also written for "Long Island Newsday," "Empire State Report" magazine and "In Good Health." He has been writing professionally since 1995. Gifford holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University at Buffalo.

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