Our office will be closed on Monday, May 27th for Memorial Day.

Rice Law Firm Logo


The Significance of Having an Original Will and the Presumption that is Raised When an Original Will is Lost

A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed after their death. It is a crucial document for anyone who wants to ensure that their wishes are followed and their assets are distributed as they intended. However, the validity of a will can be called into question if it is not an original document. This is because there is a legal presumption that when an original will cannot be found (and was last in the possession of the testator) that it was intentionally destroyed. This presumption can have significant implications for the distribution of assets and may lead to a legal dispute, resulting in additional costs, delays, and stress for loved ones.

To overcome the presumption of revocation, a person must provide evidence that the testator did not intend to revoke the will. This evidence can take many forms, such as witness testimony, circumstantial evidence, or other documents that may shed light on the testator’s intentions. However, proving that the testator did not intend to revoke the will can be a difficult and costly process, and there is no guarantee of success.

To avoid this situation altogether, it is essential to keep an original will safe and secure. This can be done by storing it in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box or a fireproof safe. It is also important to inform trusted loved ones of the location of the will and to provide them with access to it if necessary. By doing so, a person can ensure that their final wishes are carried out and that their loved ones are spared additional stress and complications during an already difficult time.