Portland, OR asked in Estate Planning for California

Q: How to lodge original Will with California court if Will has been damaged by printer, but still legible?

I have my father's original pour over Will and Revocable Trust. I need to lodge the original Will, even though there will not be a probate. The problem is, when I went to make a copy of the Will at a hotel, the printer printed "error code" text all over the original Will. You can still read the Will and see the original signatures, there is just text printed on top of each page. How would I submit this to the Court without having to use a "lost will" procedure (which is not the case)?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Julie King
Julie King
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Just mail the original will, a cover letter saying you want to "lodge" the will, and a check for the filing fee. If the court doesn't accept it, the court will return it to you with your check.

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I typically march the original Will down to the clerk's office and ask to lodge it with the court. In Alameda County, there is no charge to lodge the original Will. I suspect this is the case in every county. If a probate case is opened, the judge or probate examiner may have questions about the subsequent damage, and you will simply need to explain it just like you did in your posting. Good luck with this.

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