Clients creating their estate plans in our office have two choices for the storage of their original Last Will and Testament. Clients can keep their Last Will in our office or keep it with their other important papers. The importance of maintaining your Will in a safe place where your loved ones can find it is crucial. Florida Law provides that when an original will that is known to have existed cannot be located, there is a presumption that its maker (the testator) destroyed the will with the intent to revoke it. In order to overcome this presumption the testator’s loved ones will have to convince the probate court that the will was lost or destroyed without the decedent’s knowledge or consent and without their intent to revoke it. This becomes a time consuming and costly exercise which unnecessarily complicates the probate process.
In order to reestablish a lost will or admit a photocopy of your will to the probate court you have to overcome the presumption above, and you will need one or more witnesses to testify about the execution and content of the will.
Our recommendation is to keep your original will in our office for safe keeping. You take home one or more copies with our contact information attached. If and when you family needs to find your original will, they know just where to begin their search.
If you need assistance with your estate plan please contact us for more information.