Do I Need the Original Will or is a Copy of the Will Sufficient?
In Iowa, if the original Will cannot be located, the law provides a presumption that the decedent intentionally destroyed the Will for purposes of revoking it. This presumption exists even if a copy of the Will is located. Therefore, in most instances in which the original Will cannot be located, the Probate Court will presume the Will was destroyed and the distribution of the decedent’s estate will be subject to Iowa’s intestate statutes.
This presumption under Iowa law makes it very important for you to ensure that your original Will is kept in a safe location. If you do not have a safety deposit or lock box for safekeeping documents, you may consider consulting with your attorney to see if they maintain a location for safekeeping client’s original documents or if they will file the original Will with the clerk of court for safekeeping. These options are generally provided free of charge.
If you have any questions about safekeeping your Will or for more information about creating or revising your Will or Estate Plan, feel free to contact the Crimmins & Kehm Law Firm at 515-573-2191.