Probate in Washington

Chapter 4: The Lost Will

People lose their Last Wills or Living Trusts. At least a couple of times a year, a child comes in and tells me that just before she died, Mother told her that the Will was in the top drawer of the file cabinet. Then when she’s gone, the child can’t find it. They have a copy, but no original.  Under certain circumstances, we can ask the Court to let us use the copy in place of the original.  We back up the request with written sworn statements from the heirs and people who were close to the deceased person. The Court wants to know if they have any reason to believe that the Will was purposely destroyed or if there was a replacement. Did the person ever talk about getting a new one, or not liking what they had?  Did we check the safety deposit box, look in all the normal places in the house or at the business office, did we contact the drafting attorney?  If those all check out, then the Court will allow the use of the copy.