Estate and Gifts, Torree J. Breen, Wills

Can’t Find Your Original Will? Don’t Panic.

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People spend thousands of dollars to draft wills and/or trusts to identify their intentions upon death; however, sometimes it is not made clear where the original documents have been stored.  Don’t panic.  You can petition the court to accept a copy of the will, if necessary.  This is permissible to allow persons to object to the copy of the will and to allow them the chance to question its authenticity.  For the court to accept the copy of the will you will need a witness to testify that the copy presented to the court is an exact copy of the original will which cannot be located.  The witness must also be prepared to testify that the will has never been revoked or amended.  This witness will most likely be the attorney whom drafted the documents.  The petitioner has the burden of proof to establish that the copy of the will is authentic.