Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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Does he know whether a probate was opened through the courts?
The best place for him to look is to go to the clerk of court's office for the probate court in the county in which is father resided at the time he passed away or the county in which he passed away (if it's not the same).
If there isn't a filing there (the case name would be In The Estate of INSERT FATHER's NAME) then it is likely one hasn't been filed. At that point if he know any lawyers that his dad used he could contact them and see if they have a will.
If neither of those ideas work then the next step is to hire a lawyer and file for probate and he can then use the powers of executor to ck banks for a safety deposit box, look through old bank records for a check made out to a lawyer indicating a will was done, etc. The probate lawyer can guide him through the various ways to look for a will.
At some point it may be determined that there was no will or that one cannot be found and in that case the property passes by "intestate succession" which is a specific line of inheritance set forth in the law.