Question: Why do lawyers keep original copies of wills?

A lot of attorneys offer to keep the original wills they prepare for their clients, at no charge. They do this so they can probate the estates of their clients. When a client dies, their children read the copy of the will and call the attorney whose name is stamped in big bold letters on the first page.

Who should keep the original copy of a will?

The most likely person to hold the document is the Executor selected in the Will. For example, a client names her adult daughter as the Executor of her Will.

Do lawyers keep original copies of wills?

Most estate planning attorneys take on the responsibility of holding their clients’ original wills and other documents. They do this for two reasons. First, they are often better equipped to keep the originals safe where they can be found when needed.

Is a copy of a will as good as the original?

A copy of a will may be admissible in court if the original has been destroyed by a fire or flood or if the original has been unintentionally lost by the testator. If the original will was purposely destroyed or thrown out by the testator because he or she wanted to revoke that will, the copy is not valid.

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What happens if you lose the original copy of a will?

If you are still unable to locate the original Will, then you may be able to obtain a Grant of Probate with a copy of the Will. … If the original Will was last in the possession of the deceased, there is a presumption that, if the Will cannot be found, then it must have been destroyed.

Who gets copies of a will?

anyone named or referred to in the will of the deceased, whether or not as a beneficiary; anyone named or referred to in an earlier or previous will as a beneficiary of the deceased; the surviving spouse, de facto partner or issue of the deceased.

What happens if you can’t find the original will?

If an original will cannot be found, a copy can be admitted to probate under certain circumstances. … If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the will copy is a replica of the testator’s original will, the court will admit the will copy and the estate will be probated.

Where should original wills be kept?

A Will can be stored in your home in a personal safe, a locked filing cabinet, or in another safe location. If you store your Will in a location that requires a combination, password, or key for entry, be sure to share that information with someone you trust, such as your spouse, your adult children, or your attorney.

Are Wills kept on record?

Probated wills are public record, which means anyone can show up at the courthouse and view them in their entirety. A person who has reason to believe they might be included in a will may thus examine the will. Each county courthouse files probated wills in a department called the Register of Wills.

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Should an executor have a copy of the will?

Get copies of the will

Any other executors named in the will must also confirm they are happy for you to have a copy. Making copies of the will is always advisable for the co-executors and other beneficiaries. This also means you can keep the original document in a safe place.

What makes a will an original?

The general requirements for a valid Will are usually as follows: (a) the document must be written (meaning typed or printed), (b) signed by the person making the Will (usually called the “testator” or “testatrix”, and (c) signed by two witnesses who were present to witness the execution of the document by the maker …

How many original copies of a will should you have?

You should see an attorney every time you want to change your will, and you should create at least three copies to store in various locations. The latest copy of your will should go to your attorney. That way if the other copies end up missing or destroyed, your lawyer still has some backups.

What is considered an original will?

The testator is deceased. The testator created and executed the will and the document fulfills the requirements of a valid will. The contents and substance of the will are valid. A diligent search has been conducted to locate the original will document.

Will probate accept a copy of a will?

A copy will can be admitted to probate in the right circumstances. In some circumstances, an application to admit a copy will or, even, the terms of a will recounted in the form of witness or affidavit evidence, can be made to the probate registry.

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Can I prove a copy will?

The presumption can be rebutted by evidence of destruction by accident, such as fire or flood, and in that case, the contents of the missing will can be proved by a copy, or even a draft or oral evidence. Accordingly, admissions of copies are fairly commonplace and standard.

How do I authenticate a copy of a will?

How do I certify a copy of a document?

  1. The document’s custodian requests a certified copy. …
  2. The Notary compares the original and the copy. …
  3. The Notary certifies that the copy is accurate.