Learn Important Probate Essentials, including key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
What can you do when you believe the deceased had a Will, but you cannot find it? What if you can only find a copy? This is a complicated situation and there are no easy answers. We will discuss that and more in this post.
My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group. At our firm, we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored. Everything discussed in this post is for general information and is not legal advice – for specific information about your situation, please go here to request a complimentary consultation with one of our inheritance lawyers.
Not being able to find a Will can be very stressful. This is especially true when your loved one expressed to you that they left a Will prior to passing away. So, what can you do?
The first step is to look everywhere you can to find the original Will. Common places where Wills are stored are desk drawers, a fireproof box in the home, a safe deposit box, and anywhere else your loved one stored important papers. It is important to note that if you believe the Will is in a safe deposit box, you will probably not be able to gain access to it without Probate Court permission, and there is a specific process to go through for that.
If you have looked everywhere and you are still unable to find the original Will, then the situation can become very complicated. The reason for this is that under Georgia law when an original Will cannot be found, the law presumes that the deceased intended to revoke the Will.
If you are able to find a copy of the Will, then there are ways to overcome the presumption of revocation, but it is not always easy. Proving a copy of a Will is a complex undertaking, and I strongly recommend that you do not attempt it on your own. Please call our office for help.
For more information about this and other probate topics, please go to GPLG.com/Handbook to download a complimentary copy of our Georgia Probate Handbook. You’ll learn the key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
You also can reach out to our office at (770) 796-4582 to set up a consultation.
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