Category Archives: Lost Wills

3 Strange Things About Prince’s Estate

There are several unusual factors at play in the drama that is unfolding surrounding Prince’s estate. This blog post discusses them and offers some tips so that you can hopefully avoid a similar situation. First, the most unusual factor is that no will or trust has been found. What’s so unusual about this, you ask? Don’t numerous celebrities pass away without an estate plan in place? Sure, some do. But what makes this so unusual is that Prince is not some unsophisticated doofus; rather, Prince is quite familiar with legal disputes and has apparently had extensive dealings with attorneys over the …


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Lost Wills: What To Do When The Original Can’t Be Found

Virginia law requires that an original will be probated (as opposed to a copy). Occasionally, this poses a problem as no one can locate the original will. In those instances, Virginia law provides that a proponent of a non-original will may petition the circuit court to order that a copy of the will be admitted to probate. As part of that petition, the petitioner will need to name as “necessary parties” to the petition any people who stand to receive a bequest under the will, as well as any people who would stand to inherit a portion of the decedent’s …


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Virginia Supreme Court Issues New Ruling Regarding Missing Wills

The Virginia Supreme Court recently issued a ruling relating to missing wills and the legal standard courts must apply when an original will cannot be found and therefore an executor seeks to probate a copy of the will. While the case does not necessarily make new law, it does clarify that the proponent of the non-original will is not required to prove why the original will was lost. First, some background: under Virginia law, a party seeking to probate a will must probate the original will, and not a photocopy. In the vast majority of instances, this does not pose …