What if the original Will cannot be found?
If a Will has been lost, there is a presumption it was revoked by destruction by the maker. However, it may be possible to deal with the estate even if the Will cannot be found or produced. An application can be made to the probate registry for an Order allowing probate using a draft copy or reconstruction of the Will. Lawyers are obliged to keep records of all Wills they prepare so reproduction of a properly prepared Will can be a relatively simple task as long as it can be shown that the Will was actually executed.
To be allowed to proceed, an affidavit must be provided confirming the existence of the original Will and explaining why it cannot be produced. It must also give details of what was in the Will. Where the Will is only damaged, the original must also be produced.
Where the contents may be challenged, the registry may require the application to be dealt with on notice to any potential beneficiaries.