Do you know where your original Will is located? It is essential that your executor be able to locate your original Will when you die.
This means keeping the original Will in a safe place, where it will not get thrown out by accident and also letting your executors and other close family and friends know where you your original Will is stored.
I have many horror stories relating to lost original Wills, the most recent is an application we had to make to the Supreme Court last year for an estate where the person had told a friend that his Will was at his home and then he died in hospital. The man was elderly and due to eyesight issues was not good at keeping track of his paperwork. Despite hours of searching the original Will could not be located.
Where an original Will cannot be located there is a presumption in law that the willmaker has destroyed the Will on purpose to revoke the Will. An application can be made to the Court to obtain Probate of a copy of the Will. The Judge will want proof that the Will was not revoked but merely lost or misplaced.
What should have been a simple estate, where it would usually cost a couple of thousand dollars to obtain Probate, became a day in Court with Solicitors and Barristers on two sides incurring legal costs in the vicinity of $30,000. This was a fairly straight forward set of facts, a more complicated case would have cost double or triple in legal fees.
If you have lost track of your original Will then try to locate it. If it was done with a Solicitors firm and you no longer know if they exist then you can contact the Queensland Law Society and ask them where the safe custody for that law firm is now located. The next step is for you to tell the executor and your close family friends where you have placed that original Will.
If you cannot locate your original Will then “Just Get It Done” again. Come see me for a quick and easy meeting to complete your Will.