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Accessing Legal Advice

If you are facing legal problems, knowing how to access legal advice can make all the difference. We hope that this blog will provide you with an helpful source of information regarding the law and legal procedures used in court. The people who have crafted these articles are not legal experts. However, they do have a great deal of knowledge which has been gained by reading books about law, watching YouTube videos of famous cases, and communicating on online forums. The articles will look at criminal, commercial, and family law. Thank you for checking out this blog and reading what we have on offer.



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Accessing Legal Advice

Can You Execute A Will Without The Original?

by Leroy Duncan

Most people understand the value of creating a last will and testament before they die. They can then ensure that the estate is distributed according to their wishes and make the distribution as simple as possible at the time. Yet, while it's important to draft a will and ensure it is correctly witnessed, it must also be kept in a safe place to be valid. So what happens if an executor is not able to locate the actual document?

What Do You Need to Get Probate?

Before an executor has the legal power to manage an estate and distribute its net contents, they must be granted probate. This permission will be given by the state authority (essentially the Supreme Court) so long as the original will is produced.

If this document is not available, the court will automatically assume that the will-maker had destroyed it to ensure it was revoked. It can be quite hard to get past this assumption, and every effort should be made to try and locate that original paper.

Is the Will in the Hands of a Third Party?

Sometimes, an executor may uncover the original document in the hands of a third party. For example, the will may have been made long ago and given to a solicitor for safekeeping. Sometimes, the parties do not maintain close contact, and it may not be immediately obvious to the executor or other members of the family.

Could a Copy Suffice?

Occasionally, a copy of the will is available, but not the original. Sadly, this does not have legal standing, although efforts can be made to persuade a court otherwise.

For example, a family member may come forward to say that they had unfortunately lost the original, although they still had a copy. They may be able to prove that the will-maker still recognised the existence of the will at the time of their death and, therefore, had no intention to revoke it.

How Can You Prove the Situation?

The burden of proof here may be quite high, and you may need to provide sufficient evidence to accompany the case. A court will then consider the matter and may ultimately grant probate. If not, the situation will be considered intestate, and the court will issue letters of administration instead.

What You Should Do Next

If you find yourself in this position, you will need to handle the matter very carefully. Talk with a family lawyer to get the best advice possible. For more information, contact a company like Peter J Griffin & Co.