Your father has passed away and after the funeral, you try to locate his Last Will and Testament. You find a photocopy but not the original. You do a quick search on Google and find that in Florida, you need to establish the original Will in order to file a testate probate. Should you panic? In many instances, the answer is "no." In Florida, we have a process where you can "prove up" a lost or destroyed Will.
As estate attorneys, we often encounter a situation where a person is deceased and the original of their Last Will and Testament cannot be found. Often, the family suspects that the original has been lost or misplaced--not that it was intentionally destroyed by the decedent before death. Is the fact that the orignal of the Will cannot be found fatal to being able to probate the Will? The answer is often "no."