If my father passed away and he had a Will but original was lost but I have a copy, how do I file in probate court?

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If my father passed away and he had a Will but original was lost but I have a copy, how do I file in probate court?

My brother is executor but he lost the original. I have a copy. My father only has an IRA. I was told that it would probably be easier and cheaper to proceed as if there is no Will. However, I don’t know how to file or what I need to file. I am in the state in which he passed. My other siblings are out of state.

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I am sure that you understand the problems here not having the original. But having a copy is good, you just have to jump through some hoops to have the court accept it in place of the original.  You have to prove that the copy is the same and yes, that will cost extra attorneys fees.  Are your Father's wishes in the Will the same as if the estate was probated through the intestacy statutes?  Then it may in fact be easier to do it that way.  Consult with an attorney and speak with your siblings.  And check if the IRA has a designated beneficiary. Good luck.


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