Lost Will or Copy of Will: Probate
Testator may want to keep careful track of where they store their original Will after signing and where the copies of their Will is located. Testator should inform either the named executor in the Will and/or one or more beneficiaries in the Will, where the original is being stored.
What if the original Will is lost, can a copy be probated? What if the original Will and all copies are lost, can a lost Will be probated? The answer, under Kentucky law, is yes, but there must be clear evidence that the original Will was lost and/or copies of the Will were lost.
In case of a lost Will and probating a copy of the Will, clear evidence must be shown that the Will is a true copy of the original and that the testator did not intend to revoke the Will.
If neither the original Will nor a copy can be found, the requirements to probate a lost will requires clear and convincing evidence of (i) due execution of a Will, (ii) that the will was lost, (iii) the contents of the Will, and (iv) continued recognition of the Will by testator and proof that it was not revoked. If cannot establish these facts by clear evidence, then the lost Will will be presumed to be revoked by testator.