The Estate Planning Industry has declared that more wills go missing than are found.

Why Are So Many Wills Lost?

There are many reasons wills go missing, including the following.

1.    They’ll “just know”

Too often, individuals believe their family will just “know” where their will who their attorney is. This is completely untrue. Even when family members are told where the will is, or who the attorney is, losing a loved one can dismiss the memory in a quick moment.

Family members do not want to discuss issues about losing a loved one.  Even then the conversation is discussed, most say they can't remember anything. 

2.    Bad relationships

If there is a member of the family that believes the will is not in their favor, it might disappear. This is particularly common with stepchildren and children who don't have the same good relationship with their parents as their siblings may.

If no will is found, the State will divide all assets equally among any next of kin.

3.    Thrown away

A will is usually hidden.  When the testator moves or passes on, it is often thrown away with all the other paperwork. Often times, a new will is written, but an old one is the one that is located.

4.    New location

A will is moved to another location and the children were not told where. Seniors relocate as they become ill and forget to share how their paperwork was filed with their loved ones. Many elderly go into a home or assisted living and aren't able to remember where their documents are stored. Family members don't have a clue of how to find out who the most recent attorney who drafted the newest version of a will is.

Take a Tip!

Make sure you have more than one copy of your will in storage.. Technically, you should only have one copy of the original and one or more copies of a duplicate. In the event that the original version goes missing, a duplicate copy can be presented to the courts and the family.  If you have an attorney, the attorney can testify to the validity of the duplicate, or the attorney has the original copy on file. This is only helpful if the family can locate the name of your attorney. This is why registration is essential to helping your family when desperately seeking your will.

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