Lost Will Lawyer
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What is a Lost Will?
A will is a written document expressing the testator’s last wishes regarding property and assets. The will must be signed and witness to be valid. The will must be kept in a safe place and accessed only after a person’s death. However, in some instances a will can be lost.
Where to Look for a Lost Will?
The executor or a family member should contact the person’s lawyer regarding the whereabouts of the will. Other searches should include personal items, financial institution, and safe deposit box.
Will a Copy of the Will Be Accepted?
It depends on the courts. A court may accept a copy of the will, if the original can’t be found. Other courts may allow a witness who witnessed and signed the document to attest the will is valid.
What if the Will Can’t Be Found and There are No Witnesses?
The general rule is if the will that can’t be found, then it is assumed that it was destroyed.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Prove the Will Wasn’t Destroyed?
Yes. An individual will have to:
- Show evidence the testator didn’t revoke or intend to destroy the will
- Prove the contents of the will
- Prove the testator actually created and executed a will that is valid and met state law requirements
- Prove the will can’t be found after a thorough search
Do I Need to Contact an Attorney about a Lost Will?
Yes. Without a will, a person’s estate is subjected to state laws of distribution. This means the individuals the deceased wanted to give property and money to may not receive them. Contact an estate lawyer regarding finding the lost will and what can be done to resolve the situation to avoid probate.
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Last Modified: 03-09-2016 01:30 PM PST
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