Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.
If the original will cannot be found, there is a legal presumption that the reason the original cannot be found is that it was revoked. If someone files a petition to admit a copy of will to probate, the legal presumption of revocation remains in effect unless the presumption is rebutted (overcome) by clear and convincing evidence that the testator did not, in fact, revoke the will. IL Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/4-7(a)) gives several methods for revoking a will including, burning, tearing up, or otherwise destroying.
So yes, if the original signed copy of the will can't be located and admitted to probate, then the presumption is that the will was revoked and the state intestacy laws would kick in to determine who would inherit as his heirs at law.