Lost Will is Presumed Destroyed

Lost Will is Presumed DestroyedIn a recent case the administrator of an estate tried to probate a copy of a decedent’s will. The son challenged the probating of a copy of the will. The court rendered a ruling there is a presumption that a will in the possession of a decedent which cannot be found after his or her death was destroyed by the decedent.

New York Regarding Missing Wills

The law in New York is clear that there is a strong presumption a will that was in a decedent’s possession cannot be located after his or her death was destroyed by the maker of the will. Destruction of the will revokes the will. In cases where the decedent is in possession of his or her own will and the will isn’t found after they die, a copy of the will cannot be probated. If the individual dies he or she does not have to advise anyone that they destroyed the will. The very fact that the will is not found to be in the possession of the decedent after his or her death is sufficient to establish that the will was revoked.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. The law firm represents clients in all aspects of wills, trust and estates in estate cases. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.