In continuing follow up to the above-mentioned, I will be going in to the Queens Surrogate Court on the 8/20 to pursue probate. I plan to complete the required forms online, download and take them with me. In preparation, I spoke with a clerk there who gave me a list of required documents to bring with me. Here is my problem. She said they would need the original will. I have a working copy that I used back in 2008 to carry out Mom's requests. I am not sure where the original will is at this time. I am thinking that I copied it in order to highlight certain aspects as I went through the various instructions. I am in the process of trying to locate the original. What are my options if I cannot find it? Will the court accept the copy I have and if they do not, what should be my next steps?
I have stated this in my question.
Unfortunately, you will need to get the original will with the original signatures and the NY courts will not accept a copy of a will unless you can prove the original was destroyed in some type of accident, such as a house fire or flood etc. Just not being able to locate the original your mom had is not sufficient, since a person can void a will simply by tearing up the original and the court has no proof that did not happen in a case where someone is trying to use a copy of a will in court. You need to try to find the attorney who wrote the will to see if they maintained a copy and you need to check all of your mom's records and safe deposit boxes to find the original and if you cannot do so then the estate is probated in intestacy, meaning as though there was no will, and in that case all of the descendants share equally in her estate and if there is a surviving spouse they share as well with the descendants.
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