What can you do to get a Will back that has been stolen by a relative?

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What can you do to get a Will back that has been stolen by a relative?

I believe my cousin may have stolen the only signed copy of the Will of his father in order to hide the contents thereof. His father is senile and may die any day. How can I get this cousin to provide to all family members a copy of this Will?

Asked on September 17, 2010 under Estate Planning, Utah

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is a huge allegation against your Cousin.  You should consult with an attorney in your area as to your options at this point in time.  What you need to do is to prove that it existed.  You can do this by contacting the lawyer that drafted the Will and see if he or she kept a copy, contacting the witnesses to the Will as proof that it existed at the time that is was executed (but you still have to prove that it was not revoked in some way and it existed at the time of his death).  You will also have to prove that it was "stolen" as you say.  This is more easily done if you have some legal clout behind you and you in some way "represent" his estate, either in life as his conservator or guardian, or in death as the fiduciary or personal representative of his estate.  Good luck.


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