The Importance of an Original Will in Texas Probate
If you have gone to the trouble of making out your Last Will & Testament in Texas, it is critical that you know where the Original Will is. An Original Will is the Will that you originally signed, and perchance had notarized. We often refer to it as a ‘wet ink original’. An Original Will is so important because the existence of this document is a statement unto itself. Let us say that upon your passing we can only find a copy of your Last Will & Testament. The Court will assume you destroyed your Original Will before you died.
This assumption can be a powerful one, and it will be the job of your applicant for administrator’s attorney to overcome this burden. Sometimes, the explanation is simple enough. The Will was lost in a move from a home to a nursing home. The Will was just misplaced and accidentally thrown away. However, witnesses will have to be brought to Court to discuss whether or not this copy of your Will was in fact an accurate reproduction of your Original Will and if it was indeed your last wishes.
This can be a very difficult burden to overcome, especially if your did not inform many people of your Will, you had certain desires which are not considered standard, or there is a dispute about what your final wishes are. If you are currently in possession of a copy of a Will, and do not know where the Original is, we would recommend reaching out to an estate or probate attorney to resolve the issue. If you still have your Original will, put it in a safe place and let those close to you know your desires. A safe place can include a fire proof safe, a firearm safe or a safe deposit box. If one had to chose any option, a safe deposit box would be the best option. Even if you are the only holder of the key to the safe deposit box, a capable probate attorney can gain access to safe deposit box and retrieve the Original Will.