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I Lost My Will! What Should I Do?

Updated: Jan 9


Woman looking stressed with papers in the air

First off, don't panic! Losing an important document like your original will can be a stressful and concerning experience, but there are always avenues to a successful solution. And look, we get it! Since a will is not something you often look at or use, it can be difficult to keep track of. We're here to guide you through the process of what to do if you've lost your will.


 

Confirm the Original Storage Location

The first thing to do is recall where the original will was first stored. Of course, that seems like an obvious step, but it is an important one. Typically, at the time of signing a will with a lawyer, you will discuss where the original document is going to be stored. Although less common now, it used to be a standard practice that your law firm would store your original will for a client. The client would receive a copy of the signed will and the copy would usually have a stamp indicating that the original is stored with the lawyer. Often we meet with people who think they have lost their original will, but it turns out they only ever had a copy and the lawyer who prepared it has the original. All that to say, you want to make sure that you actually had your original will to begin with before you worry about it being lost! If a copy of the will doesn’t indicate that it was stored with the lawyer, the final letter you received from the lawyer might include that information if you can find it. 

Review All Potential Storage Locations
Check for Copies
Check with Trusted Family Members or Executors
Contact Your Lawyer or Notary 
Create a New Will if Necessary

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