• The answer to your question depends on 3 things: (1) whether or not the attorney was in private practice working by themselves at the time of their passing or with a law firm/partner, (2) The nature of the file in question, and (3) the specific laws of your state. My attorney passed several years ago but he had a partner who took over the business and the historical files. That individual retired and there is noone to sell the practice to, so he sent me a letter stating that he would be retaining the files until his passing and then after his passing the files would be stored for a certain number of years until they were no longer relevant. If any client wanted files, we could write him a letter and get copies. Some files would be destroyed and some files would be retained based on the nature of their contents... Some states require more elaborate storage and retrieval procedures than others--in some states--but it is all state specific.
  • When my dad passed his attorney gave me the option of taking my dad's file or to have it destroyed.

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