By Jason Stern
As a NY probate and estate lawyer with extensive NY probate and will contest experience I come across this issue with regularity. Pursuant to the NY estate law only the original copy of your last will & testament is valid for filing in a probate proceeding when you pass. As such it is always advisable to leave your original will in a safe place or with a trusted NY estate lawyer for safekeeping. In the event your original last will & testament is lost or should fall into the wrong hands and be destroyed the NY estate law will assume you died without a valid NY will.At our firm NY estate lawyers go to great lengths to ensure all of our clients’ wills are maintained for safe keeping so this event never occurs. In a recent estate, Melanie Nash, the drug-addicted daughter of her deceased father Eddie Nash, was unhappy about being cut out of her father’s sizable estate. Melanie was so unhappy that she convinced herself that there must be another hidden will someplace which provided for her. Additionally Melanie Nash further reasoned that not only was there a will providing a sizable portion of her father’s estate to her but that her sister must have buried it in her father’s casket. Eventually Melanie not only convinced herself of this but two of her would be accomplices as well. As such, the threesome plotted to and did go into the crypt where her father’s remains were kept and search his coffin for the “hidden” original will.Unfortunately for Nash and her accomplices the only items they found buried with her father’s remains were a bottle of vodka and a pack of cigarettes. While Melanie Nash did not find what she was looking for she did find herself in criminal court pleading guilty to the misdemeanor offenses of criminal mischief, interference with a cemetery as well as conspiracy to commit and the act of abusing her father’s corpse.While family members may go to great lengths to locate the original copy of a misplaced last will & testament after the passing of a loved one, this exacerbating process is needless. Families who plan ahead enlist the help of a trusted and experienced NY probate lawyer to help them avoid such calamities. As a NY estate lawyer there is nothing more frustrating than to see a sizable estate thrown into the grips of the administration process because the original will cannot be found.If you or a loved one are thinking about planning your estate and would like to speak with a New York estate lawyer feel free to call The Law Offices of Jason W. Stern & Associates at (718) 261-2444 for a free consultation. Our Queens estate lawyers have nearly 45 years of combined NY estate law experience drafting and probating the wills for families like yours in the counties of Queens, New York, Kings, Bronx, Westchester, Rockland, Nassau, Orange, Dutchess as well as in the State of New Jersey.