Missing or lost original will – can a copy be used?

copy of a will, lost will, missing will, will not found, probate application, coat of arms Parkes Courthouse, early Australian courthouses, old Australian courthouses, Colonial Australian courthouses

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.

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Lost or missing will – where to enquire?

Finding lost wills

lost original will, missing wills, When the original will of a deceased person can’t be found, the task of finalising their affairs and administering their estate becomes more complicated, time-consuming and costly.  It is therefore worthwhile to undertake methodical searches of the deceased’s residence, thoroughly searching high and low for a will or testamentary document, including the garage, shed and the like.  But what else can be done? Some suggestions follow as to where enquiries might be made. More