We’ve written before on this blog about how it is important to have a will prepared in order to make sure that your estate is protected and divided as you wish upon your death.
But did you know that it is just as important to keep that will safe and secure? The principle of presumption of revocation means that if your will is lost, the courts may consider it to have been intentionally destroyed by you. If that happens, your estate would be divided not according to your wishes (assuming that you did not actually destroy it and it has just been lost) but according to what the law says.
If, when your will has been completed and properly signed by you, you retain the true original and upon your death it cannot be located, the courts will presume that it has been intentionally destroyed in favour of a new will. If one cannot be located, your estate will be divided according to intestacy laws. Stay tuned for a blog post about what happens if you die without a will, or “intestate”.
It is possible to defeat the principle of revocation. A copy of the will may be accepted by the court and entered into probate. However, someone seeking to rely on a copy of the will must demonstrate that it is most likely that the deceased did not intend to destroy their will but rather that the will was merely lost.
With that in mind, it is important to keep the original copy of your will in a secure location. After preparing your will, Daniel & Partners LLP can provide you with a copy for your records and can keep the original copy secured in our office, protecting your intentions for your estate.
Daniel & Partners LLP provides a wide range of estate planning services and can assist with estate litigation. If you find yourself in a situation where an original will has gone missing, whether you are a beneficiary or an executor, we can assist.
If you want to revoke your will, we do not recommend that you simply destroy it! Doing so could leave a legacy of litigation to your heirs. If you are thinking about destroying your will because you require changes urgently, please contact one of the Wills and Estates lawyers at Daniel & Partners LLP instead. If physical or practical limitations prevent you from being able to attend at our office, the Wills and Estates lawyers at Daniel & Partners LLP are willing to come to you. Daniel & Partners LLP is a proud member of the Wills on Wheels program, and we are willing to attend at your home, residence, or even hospital room in the Niagara Region to assist.
Call our office today and book an appointment.
Blog post written by Karen Shedden, NCA Candidate.