Searching for a will
When a close relative or friend dies, you must perform a search to see if he or she left a will.
The search will also show that the will you have found is the last one to have been drawn up. Only the most recent will has any legal value.
Holograph will or will made in the presence of witnesses
A holograph will or a will made in the presence of witnesses is usually not registered, unless the testator filed it with a notary or lawyer.
You should therefore begin by focusing your search on:
- the person’s personal effects;
- the person’s close relatives and friends (one of them may know of the existence of a will;
- any organization that may have the will.
You should also check to see whether the person left the will in a safety deposit box at the bank.
Notarial will or will filed with a notary or lawyer
In every case, you are required by law to search for a will in the in the register of testamentary dispositions and mandates kept by the Chambre des notaires du Québec and in the register of testaments and mandates maintained by the Barreau du Québec.
You may perform these searches yourself, using the appropriate forms. A notary or lawyer can also perform the searches for you.