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The attorney is deceased and my dad who had Alzheimer's past away last week. Our mom and dad had their Wills drawn up in 1983 since then the attorney, our mom and dad have all passed. Our mom in 2000 and dad last week. I know who the attorney was there is no info and dad had no idea where his will was his Dementia/Alzheimer's took hold of him and his memory....well anyone who know's someone with Alzheimer's knows what I am talking about. Between my brother and I we have/had Guardianship for dad and his estate and know that dad is gone we need help on what to do. Thanks in advance for your help

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In Oregon an attorney gives the original will to the client and only keeps a copy. Where this can create a big problem - even if you were to find a copy through an attorney, is that the courts only recognize an original will - presenting a copy is equivalent to having no will. The law may be different in your state. Also, at least if you had a copy you would at least know what your fathers wishes were and an attorney might be able to get some concessions in court that way - although I honestly doubt it. Have you tried to investigate if your father had a safety deposit box? Again, you would need an attorney to get a court order to have it opened - if indeed your dad had one. In cases such as yours your father naming beneficiaries to individual accounts would cut through a lot of hassle - often the easiest route to figuring out if there are accounts out there is to continue to watch his mail for statements - or if you could find a copy of a previous years tax return- although that may not show accounts that do not withhold anything unless a withdrawal/payment is made to the account holder. Being as you and your brother were court appointed guardians you ought to have access to a lot of tools - tax returns, bank statements etc to get you going on your investigation.
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Oh, another thought. Check one of those ancestry websites; they also aggregate data on families and might be more likely to have accurate information than the sites which collect data on people like magnets. Some of them have me related to people I never heard of.
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Another long shot - search online through one of those aggressive sites that aggregate data on families, and see if you can locate the deceased attorney's family. If you can, they might know if he sold his practice. A law practice is a business with value, and most attorneys I know plan for succession if they're solo practitioners.
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Was the attorney a single practitioner, or was he with a firm? If the latter, contact them. The office administrator can check archived records to try to locate the will.

Have you had a chance to go through your parent's files to see if there might be a will in there someplace?

Are you and your brother the only living siblings?

As guardians, you could also ask for advice from the judge who appointed you; it may be determined that since the Will cannot be located, you might have to follow guidelines for someone who died w/o a will (intestate). I'm surmising here; this would have to be concurred with by the court, specially the judge who appointed you as guardians.

There's another issue and that's what assets, if any, your parents left, and whether any of them were titled jointly with you and/or your brother. If so, those assets would pass to you & your brother w/o the need for probate.
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Hi KimberlyMarie,

One of our experts wrote an article that can help answer your question. Check it out here: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/How-to-Find-Out-if-a-Loved-One-Had-a-Will-210723.htm

Take care,

The AgingCare.com Team
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I think each state has a legal bar made up of attorneys in the state and they might know. If your state has an attorney general, the state's lawyer, they might be able to guide you. Another possibility is to ask a lawyer where you live.
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I see, you're in Texas. There will be someone that took over for that attorney. Find them... but I don't know how you do that, I'm sorry.
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Have you checked with your local probate court to see if there is a will filed with them? You had to go through local probate to obtain guardianship, right? There will be a file for your dad and you might get lucky and find a will.

When an attorney dies or retires, there is usually another attorney, or some type of administrative body, that takes over for their duties. They don't get to just toss all their clients' records in the trash. There are legal guidelines they have to follow.

Are you in the U.S.? I don't know the protocol to find out who would've taken over for your parents' attorney, but someone/something did. Find out who that is. Good luck. :-)
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