Richland, MI asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Wisconsin

Q: As a beneficiary of my recently deceased parents, how can I obtain a copy of their initial Will, which was drawn up by

an attorney many years ago? Last August, 2018, it was then revised, of which I did receive a copy (of that revised one).

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: The old Will was likely revoked when they executed the new Will. You can only have one Will at a time, so when you execute a new Will you usually include specific language revoking the old Will. The other way to revoke a Will is by physically destroying it. It is possible your parents shredded or burned the old Will after executing the new Will. In fact, I recommend that my clients destroy their old Wills after executing a new Will in order to avoid any confusion over which Will is valid and to avoid future litigation. Therefore, if you cannot find a copy of the old Will at your parents home it is likely they destroyed the old Will after executing the new Will.

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