What If You Can’t Find Your Parent’s Will?
Losing your parent’s will could be an extremely complicated situation. Since there is so much at stake, it goes without saying that you must make an effort to produce the will to avoid the many inconveniences. Consider approaching the lawyer that originally drafted the will; they often have a second copy for circumstances such as these. If you aren’t aware of the lawyer in question, scan through old bank statements that might lead you to the wills lawyer. Also, certain companies or entities specialize in finding wills and hiring them shouldn’t be ruled out as a final effort to reproduce the will.
Listed below are the common situations that unfold after the original will cannot be located, read on to learn more about your options.
An Intentionally Revoked Will
If the deceased parent revoked the applicable will, the previously made will (if the deceased prepared one) would be applicable. If no such will was prepared, the estate would be distributed in accordance with the state law. However, if the deceased in question also revoked the first will during filing the second one, and then also revoked the second will, the estate would again be distributed in accordance with the state law.
Rebutting the Presumption of a Revoked Will
Oftentimes a lost will could also be presumed to be a revoked will, and the person seeking to prove otherwise must take it upon themselves to provide evidence to the contrary. It helps if a person other than the deceased has possession of the last will; the law then doesn’t consider the will to have been revoked.
A Naturally Destroyed Will
Under circumstances where the will was stored in a bank locker and destroyed due to natural causes such as an explosion or fire, the photocopy of the original will applicable would be accepted if proven that the deceased indeed signed the original will in question. If there is no available photocopy of the original will in question, the probate would have to rely on the copy of the will produced by the wills lawyer.
Admitting a Photocopied Will
A prospective heir looking to get a photocopied will admitted through a probate would have to get all other possible heirs to agree as well. This might be a difficult task, considering the fact that the other parties have no obligation to agree with the proposition. If the original copy of the will is missing with only a photocopy available, it is recommended that the potential heirs approach a wills lawyer in order to safeguard their interests. Each state has its own variation to the estate administration act, and it’s important to understand the finer print.