Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult, at best. Now, you are trying to handle the passing of their assets and know that your mother or father had a Will; however, it’s nowhere to be found. After looking through all their personal papers you recover a copy of their Last Will and Testament but cannot find the original. A hundred questions race through your mind.
- Does this mean we have to go through probate?
- What if the original was destroyed by accident?
- Can a photocopy of a Will be probated?
- Does the size of the estate matter?
- What are the consequences of passing away without a Will?
If a Will is lost by accident or destroyed by fraud without the knowledge of the testator, the court may take proof of the execution and validity of the Will and establish it, after notice is given to all persons. The petition for the probate of a lost or destroyed Will must include a copy of the Will. If no copy is available the petition must state, or be accompanied by a written statement of, the testamentary words. The Will must be proven by two persons who witnessed the Will and attest that the Decedent was of sound mind at the time the document was executed. In addition, two witnesses must establish the Will was in existence at the time of the death of the Testator.
Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.