We are very pleased to announce that Mark Stuckey of our firm recently convinced a probate court that a missing original will was not deliberately destroyed by the testator (the person who wrote the will). The result is that the beneficiaries, who had a copy of the will, will receive the inheritance left to them by the testator. Mark and his team worked diligently to gather the necessary information to convince the probate court that the deceased would not have destroyed his will.
In Georgia, only an original will can be offered to the court for probate. If an original will cannot be located, then the law presumes the deceased destroyed the will intending to revoke it. However, in limited circumstances, a copy of the will can be offered for probate. When offering a copy of a will for probate, the person offering the copy of the will must overcome this presumption by proving to the court that the testator did not or would not have destroyed his will. This evidence can be presented in many different ways, but it is usually a very high burden to overcome the presumption. Contact us if you have an issue with a missing original will and need help offering a copy of the will to the probate court.