Wills or Trust?‎ > ‎

Lost or Destroyed Wills

A lost or destroyed Will may be probated only in the case of a civil action brought to probate the lost or destroyed Will. The petitioner must prove by clear and convincing evidence:

(1) that the Will existed in legal form;

(2) the contents of the will; and

(3) that the Will has been lost or destroyed and not revoke by destruction by the testator.

If the testator had access to the Will, there is a presumption that the Will was revoked. The presumption of loss arises when the Will was not in the possession of the testator. A court may summon the person who has custody of the Will of a testator and compel its

There is no statute of limitation for probating a later Will in Virginia. 

It does not attack the validity of the execution of the prior Will. Under Virginia Code Section 64.1-95, recipients of real estate properties are protected from adverse claims arising from the probate of the later Will unless the later will is admitted to probate within one year of the testator’s death.

Safe storage and retrieval in event of accident, medical emergency or death of originals, not copies, are the only way your estate plan will work

Richard Mayberry's practice is to separate originals of the trust and will for safe storage in:

  • safe deposit boxes 
  • home safe

We substitute a conforming copy into your portfolios for informational purposes.

We counsel you and provide locator list to provide to your fiduciaries so they can locate the original trust and will.

We provide as part of the fee the first year subscription to Docubank.com, a third party service not related to my firm, which will fax medical directives to a hospital any place in the world.