How can I get a copy of my Aunt’s will?

Q: My aunt died in 1982 in Adams County, PA. I have reason to believe I may have been a beneficiary of this will, Can you tell me where I could possibly obtain a copy of the will? Are they archived, in Fulton County?

A: No one usually files a will until a person dies. If your aunt owned property in her own name of a sufficient value, and she died with a will, there is a good chance the will was filed and an estate opened in Adams County. Call or contact the county Register of Wills where she died and have them run a search, if they will do that for you-there may be a fee. They can confirm if a will was filed. As far as examining the records to see if you inherited anything, you would need to hire a lawyer in that county to copy and review the file, or go there and do it yourself. The Adam’s County Courthouse is on Baltimore Street in Gettysburg. I do not want to discourage you, but if an attorney was involved, which one usually is when an estate is filed, you would have been notified unless they did not have an address for you. The attorneys are bound by state law to notify all heirs. Secondly, even if another heir or relative took your money, you may have statute of limitation problems in bringing a claim and the money may be gone. I would investigate as much as you can on your own at first.