If a deceased's Will cannot be found, there are a number of ways to determine whether the deceased in fact had a Will and, if so, its current location. The following are among common techniques for locating a deceased's Will:
1. A thorough search of the deceased's personal papers, safety deposit box, office, etc. If the search does not reveal a Will, it may reveal the lawyers who the deceased may have used to draft a Will. Further inquiries with those lawyers may then be made.
2. Contacting the deceased's accountant or financial advisor. Often, these individuals will discuss estate planning with their clients and may therefore have some idea as to whether the deceased had a Will.
3. Contacting the person or persons believed to be named as executors in the deceased's Will. A testator will frequently give copies of her Will to the executor.
4. Advertising in the Ontario Reports, which is a regular publication sent to Ontario Lawyers. The ad may request for any lawyer having knowledge of the Will to make contact.
Hopefully, one of these inquiries will result in a Will being found. However, in the event a Will is not found, an Application to Court may be made to administer the deceased's estate on an intestacy. The Application would include a supporting Affidavit, establishing that a Will cannot be found.
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