Indeed a lost will is no will and “it’s like it didn’t exist,” says Martha Patterson. What if the original signed will is lost but someone has a copy? “If there is a copy maybe we can get the court to accept it,” she says.
The best advice is don’t lose the will. Keep the original signed and witnessed and dated will in a fireproof safe in your home. Keeping it in a bank safe deposit box can be a problem if you need the document on a Sunday or holiday when the bank is closed or if you lost the keys, or forgot which bank the safe deposit box is in.
In some cases, it is possible to have two fully executed copies of the will as a backstop. Ask your legal professional about this option.
Elder law attorney Martha Patterson offers a free consultation and $500 off any paid services when you contact her at her website www.ElderLawMom.com and this is something you shouldn’t put off.