Why don’t lawyers keep a copy of a last will and testament

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Why don’t lawyers keep a copy of a last will and testament

Lost a will. Had four deaths in the family in the past three years and with all
that went on lost a will for my uncle. I was his health care proxy and power of
attorney and also executor of his will which was lost. Why doesn’t the lawyer who
wrote all of this up have a copy of some sort.

Asked on May 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, attorneys are not legally required to keep a copy of a Will that they drafted. This is probably because they move or close their offices, have fires, misplace files, etc. Frankly, the last place I would recommend keeping a Will is the an attorney's office. The fact is that a Will can be placed for safekeeping with the probate court.  So I would check there to see if they have it. Otherwise, give another good look around your late uncle's house and see if it might still be there (e.g. in the pages of a book, dresser draw, etc.) or check to see if he had a safety deposit box.


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