How Are Wills Located?
When a loved one passes away, how do you know if they had a Will? Many people – even those close to us – can be very “cloak and dagger” about finances and personal matters. Estate Planning is certainly very personal, and oftentimes loved ones will not communicate with those closest to them about their Wills. Some people keep their original Wills at home, or in a safety deposit box, or (most commonly and highly recommended) at the office of the lawyer who drafted their Will. Those are all good places to check.
To find out the location of the Will, one thing you can do is search the Wills Registry with Vital Statistics. We file Wills Notices registering the location of the Will for every single Will we draft. If a Notice of the location of the Will has been filed with the Registry, the search Certificate from the Registry will show the location of the original Will (for example “Pushor Mitchell LLP Wills Vault located at…….for safekeeping”.) However, filing a Wills Notice, although highly recommended, is optional, so it’s possible the Will-maker didn’t file a Notice, or may have since moved the will or revoked it. So the Wills Registry search may not be conclusive evidence, but it is certainly a good place to start.
This is provided as information ONLY; it should NOT be construed as legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer to provide you with specific advice for your own situation. For more information on estate planning/incapacity planning and to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact Vanessa DeDominicis on 250-869-1140 or firstname.lastname@example.org Vanessa practices in the area of Wills and Estates at Pushor Mitchell LLP in Kelowna.