Probate and Will, Trust & Estate Disputes

Dealing with a lost or missing will

In order to obtain a grant of probate, the deceased’s original will must be lodged at the Probate Registry alongside the probate application.  There are occasions when the original will is not available which adds an additional layer of complexity.

As part of the probate application process the executors of an estate must lodge the original will at the Probate Registry before a grant of probate will be issued.

Occasionally, the executors of an estate may not be able to locate the original will.  The will could perhaps have been misplaced by the testator/testatrix in their lifetime, have been lost in storage or even lost by the executor.
A copy of the will can be used to obtain a grant of probate to an estate provided appropriate and detailed evidence can be submitted to the Probate Registry to satisfy the Registrar why a copy should be proved in place of the original.  This is usually in the form of affidavit evidence.

We have recently acted for an estate where the original will was lost by the executor.  There were no signed copies available to be used and the grant application was submitted on the basis of a final unsigned draft.
We assisted the executor in collating all of the evidence and dealing with the additional formalities required to obtain the grant of probate.  This included liaising with numerous parties in relation to the attestation of the will and anyone prejudiced by the application.

A grant was successfully issued allowing the executor to administer the estate in accordance with the testators last will.

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