What happens if a will cannot be found?

In this blog from US Probate Services, they talk about missing wills.  It’s always good to leave a copy of your will  in a safe.   I have clients that give a copy to a family member or friend to keep in their safe.  This is a good idea because of theft or fire as well.  It’s always important to speak with your Attorney to ask them, what they recommend. 

Missing Wills raise all sorts of interesting legal issues which often turn on the specific facts and circumstances, and the probate law of the state in which the deceased resided.

The Will may be missing because the deceased intentionally revoked it, in which case, depending on state probate law, an earlier Will or the state’s rules on interstate succession would determine who gets the deceased’s estate.

Alternatively, the Will may be missing because it can be proven the Will was stored in a bank vault that was destroyed in an explosion and fire. In that case the probate court may accept a photocopy of the Will (or the lawyer’s draft or computer file), together with evidence that the deceased duly signed the original.

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