How can someone find out if they are named in a will?
Probate Code Section 8200(a) requires that the original will must be filed with the court in the county where the person who dies resided within 30 days after the person's death.
If Santa Clara is the county, then you can come down to our Record's Division at the DTS Courthouse in downtown San Jose, and request that we pull the will for you to see. We need to know the full name of the deceased and the year that the individual died.
There will be a fee for each year that is researched, and a copying fee per page. (Check fees listed in the local fee schedule .)
You can also make a request by mail. Since you do not know the length of the will, you can write a check and indicate that the amount should not exceed whatever you estimate the cost will be and we will fill in the actual amount. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
The mailing address would be: Probate Division, Downtown Superior Court, 191 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113.
You can check online to see if a probate case has been filed. We have a list of probate cases on the Case Information Portal .
If you know that there is a will and it is not filed with the court, then you should contact an attorney to determine what your options are. You can find a probate lawyer from the membership list of the Silicon Valley Bar Association’s website . You can also get a referral to a lawyer from the Santa Clara County Bar Association . Their phone number is 408-971-6822 . You may also want to refer to our Free & Low-Cost Legal Help page.