A court will usually require a document that purports to be an original will in order to grant Probate and formally recognise a will. Therefore as an executor you will need to search the papers of the testator to locate an original will.

If you cannot locate the original document and only a copy then the court may still admit this document into evidence provided you are able to assure the court that you have conducted searches and made necessary enquiries to locate an original.

A court has even granted Probate in the circumstances where the solicitors who had prepared the will had destroyed it however at an early stage had recited the will to the deceased’s son. The court was convinced by evidence presented that there had been compliance with all the formal requirements as to the preparation and execution of the will and was prepared to grant Probate on the basis of the memory of the deceased’s will.

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