If a law firm shuts down, but still has wills and other documents for clients, what happens to the documents?

Say a law firm closes its doors, whether due to bankruptcy or whatever, but still has a client’s will or other legal documents. Does another law firm come in and assume responsibility to carry out the will of the client, or look after other documents? What happens?

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5 Responses to “If a law firm shuts down, but still has wills and other documents for clients, what happens to the documents?”

  1. jslinderml Says:

    In general, the firm will contact clients for whom it is holding documents to ascertain if they want the documents transferred to another firm or sent back. Also, in a medium to large firm, its probable many of the lawyers will be moving to other firms, and will take matters with them.

    If a client cannot be reached, the firm is obligated to insure safe transfer and storage of those documents.

  2. coldfuse Says:

    Clients are responsible for keeping their own wills. Law firms keep copies.

  3. PrinnyDoodLol Says:

    Another assumes responibility.

  4. Andrew Says:

    "Does another law firm come in and assume responsibility to carry out the will of the client, or look after other documents? "

    Quick answer is yes.
    This happened to me, I went to a solicitor’s office searching for the will of my mother-in-law, only to find they’d moved 15 years previously.
    I then had to traipse round several of the larger practices in town, but eventually I found it after weeks of foot work.
    For this reason I keep my precious documents at my bank, the bank’s not likely to move or shut down!

  5. Poohcat1 Says:

    Generally said documents are either returned to the person who commissioned them to be done…or another law firm takes them over. A letter is generally sent to all clients and former clients to inform them of the ending of the legal practice and ask how they want their documents (if any) handled.