Coat of Arms on the Parkes Courthouse, NSW
Probate applications require production of the original will. But what if the original can’t be found? Was the will last known in the deceased’s possession?
Sometimes a copy of an executed will (copy will) of the deceased is available. Was it the last will? Short of an intestacy, can a copy will be used in an application for probate?
In certain circumstances a Court will recognise a lost will and admit a copy of it to probate. Some instances where this has been permitted are mentioned below.
Keeping an original will safe and secure is one thing, (see storing a will), but as a practical matter, it is important to let executors know, or family or a trusted friend, of its whereabouts.
But what if for some reason an original will cannot be located, despite thorough searches? Some additional enquiries which may be made in finding a missing will is discussed here. If a deceased person has not left a valid will, the intestacy rules apply. More