Is there anywayto enforce a document that counters the terms of a Will, if it has gone missing?

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2012

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Is there anywayto enforce a document that counters the terms of a Will, if it has gone missing?

My grandmother died 20 years ago with a Will that left everything to her second husband. She told her children from a previous marriage, my father and aunt, that she and second husband wrote up a separate agreement such that if my grandmother died first, second husband would provide for her children upon his death. After her death, second husband said this separate writing was “lost”. Second husband recently died and left everything to his children from another marriage and my family gets nothing. Is there anything at all we can do?

Asked on January 25, 2012 under Estate Planning, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  Was the original Will probated or did everything pass automatically to her husband? It would have been at that time you would have needed to act.  First, this agreement is only say so at this point because it can not be produced.  If it could be found it would have to be reviewed to see if it could be enforceable against the estate or viewed as a valid "codicil" or new Will.   I really doubt that anything could be done at this point in  time but I might consult wiht an attorney there about any family heirlooms or momentos that youmay want. Good luck.

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