Dad insists on getting his will but we cant find it.


...and the saga continues.

Last week has been SO challenging. Dad's breathing is becoming more labored and he gets irritated with wearing the oxygen all the time. He's been more disoriented lately which leads to agitation and panic attacks... round and round we go...

He's also saying that he's "just tired" which scares me a little. My grandmother said that a lot before she passed away... makes me wonder if he's nearing the end of his journey.

His latest obsession is with his will. I vaguely remember him mentioning it years ago before he was diagnosed, but irresponsibly thought nothing of it. We didn't come across it when we moved Dad to be near me, and it could have easily gotten tossed during the early stages of Dad's disease.

I contacted his attorney (who is now retired) and he said he doesn't have it nor would a copy of it hold up in court, so I'm stuck.

Dad has mentioned countless times that he doesn't want some of his children to get what's left (if anything). I would be interested in having it to avoid the fight that would come when Dad does pass away. I honestly don't think it's fair that any of his children be eliminated. Besides, all he had was a savings account which is dwindling slowly because of his LTC expenses.

If we can't find it, does that mean that I'll just have to endure the fighting in addition to the loss? No thank you!!!

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Dad is not considered competent anymore due to his dementia, so signing a new one probably wouldn't happen. I have NO support system at all (outside of this forum), so I don't think Dad is talking to anyone else about this.

I'm just concerned that this is such a great concern NOW. I was hoping he would drop it, but he brings it up every day. I really don't think we'll be able to find it.

Probate laws state that anything remaining would be divided among living children, but we aren't even sure about THAT number. Papa was a rolling stone...
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I'd discuss with an attorney, but, if there is no Will, then, if anyone files for probate of the estate, the laws of the state dictate who gets what.
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You'd better ask your father for a straight answer to the question "what do you want me to do about this, Dad?"

If you can't get a straight answer, do nothing.
If he says, "find it!" say you will do your best.
If he says, "I want to make a new one now!" contact an attorney and explain the situation. I suspect that a responsible attorney would decline to take instructions, seeing how easy to challenge a will - especially a controversial one - that your father makes now is likely to be. But at least you will have asked, and a lawyer may have different and better advice.

What you must keep strictly to yourself is your opinion about what your father should do with any remaining assets. But you could mention to the lawyer that the executor, whether it's you or someone else, is not going to want trouble so could the lawyer please advise your father accordingly.

Who is your father talking to about this besides you?
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I'd get a second opinion from an attorney. Most states have a procedure whereby, if you can jump through some hoops, you can admit a copy of a Will for probate. If you can find a copy, I'd explore that route with an experienced Probate attorney who has done it before. It's one of the few options left if you can't find the original Will.

Is dad still competent to sign a new Will?
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