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What do I do if I lose my original will in Utah?

Losing or misplacing your last will and testament (or simply a "will") in Utah requires action.  Even if you still have a photocopy of the will, this may not be sufficient.  If a probate action in the Utah courts is necessary following your death, an original normally must be filed with the court - not a photocopy.  If you still have a photocopy, the solution may be as simple as signing a new copy of the old will.  But if circumstances have changed in your life, it is advisable to meet with an estate planning attorney to review your estate plan and make sure that your old will still meets your current circumstances and needs.  Whether you create a new will, or re-write your old will, you should be sure to have it properly witnessed and notarized so that it will be "self-authenticating" under Utah law.

Utah Criminal Attorney - 402 ReductionsWhen drafting a new will, it is important to include language that makes it clear that you intend to revoke any prior wills or codicils.  This is especially true if you have lost or misplaced a prior will.  (If you still have possession of your prior will, it should be torn, shredded, burned, marked as "void," or otherwise clearly marked in a manner to indicate that it has been revoked and is no longer valid.)  You should also inform the person designated as your personal representative (executor) in the will that a new will has been drafted.  You may also consider notifying your family or other individuals who may inherit under your will that a new will has been drafted.  (This is not always advisable, depending on the your specific circumstances.  You should consult with an attorney to determine the best course to take.)

If you have distributed copies of your previous will to other people (such as your personal representative, family members, or other people who may inherit under your previous will), you should be sure to collect those copies and destroy them.  You want to take steps to ensure that in the event that the prior "lost" will is somehow found after your death, those who will be involved in administering your estate will know which will to use, and to minimize any risks that a dispute may arise over which will is really your will.

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Utah estate planning attorney Stephen Howard..


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Estate Planning Attorney Wills & Trusts Estate Planning - Setting up a good estate plan requires more than filling out a free online form or downloading software. But a good estate plan does not have to be overly expensive. A good attorney can guide you through the process of determining what estate planning tools are right for you and your family, and then create personalized estate planning documents to protect you and your family, and give you the peace of mind you deserve. Contact us today to start the process of setting up a personalized estate plan.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer UtahCriminal Defense - A criminal conviction can carry serious consequences. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can give you the best chance of raising a successful defense. Stephen Howard has years of experience successfully defending serious criminal charges ranging from capital murder to DUI. Contact us today to see what the right attorney can do for you.

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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, Morgan, and Wasatch Counties - and all of Utah.


Stephen W. Howard is Utah attorney, practicing as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC.
With offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties, we are pleased to provide legal services to clients throughout Utah.
Call 801-449-1409 to arrange for a confidential initial consultation.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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