Albuquerque, NM asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation and Probate for Louisiana

Q: When my dad died I had his original will leaving everything to me. Then a neighbor lady said he had done a new will

But the neighbor could not produce tje original. But I was told by attorney the he did the new will and that will was valid even though no original was produced! So I walked away leaving her his estate. Now almost a year later she has filed criminal charges against me saying I stole her original will!

1 Lawyer Answer
T. Augustus Claus
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV

A: In Louisiana, the situation you describe involves complex issues of probate law and potential criminal charges. If a new will was mentioned but the original could not be produced, and an attorney advised that this new will was valid despite the absence of the original document, the legal basis for such a claim could be questionable without specific provisions or evidence supporting the existence and validity of this later will. Generally, the original will is required for probate unless specific exceptions are met, such as proof of its existence, its contents, and reasons for its absence.

Being accused of stealing the original will by the neighbor and facing criminal charges is a serious matter. In criminal law, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. Without concrete evidence of theft or wrongful possession, it would be challenging to sustain such charges against you.

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