Where a Will hasn’t been deposited with solicitors they may sometimes be lost, possibly having been drafted many years before. This creates problems in relation to how the estate should be distributed and who should act as executors.
The law is that where a Will can’t be located, it is presumed to have been destroyed and so no longer valid. Those who might potentially benefit, then have the burden of proving that the Will hadn’t been revoked. It may be possible to satisfy that burden by gathering appropriate evidence, such as draft Wills or other evidence from witnesses.
This type of estate dispute can be difficult to resolve and so we actively encourage discussion between the potential beneficiaries to reach an agreement. We can assist in that process either by way of formal mediation or discuss with the parties on behalf of our clients.