Heritage Elder Law and Estate Planning offers appointments in-person at one of our six offices, virtually or over-the-phone for the convenience of our clients.

Please mail all information to our Butler address.

Heritage Tree LogoWhat Are My Options if My Loved One’s Will is Lost?

last will document

If your loved one’s will has been lost, you will want to read on and reach out to our firm right away to discuss your options. Give us a call to speak with an experienced Butler County will preparation attorney about the specifics of your case. We are here to help you.

What can happen if a will is lost in Pennsylvania?

It is essential to recognize that if you are unable to find your loved one’s will, or can only find a copy of it, a Pennsylvania court will favor original documents. But, when trying to probate a copy of a “lost will,” an opinion exists that the original was intentionally eliminated or canceled. The best way to shut down this idea is by establishing that:

  • an original will was actually executed,
  • contents of the original are substantially the same as the copy, and
  • the testator had not revoked or destroyed the original prior to death.

In Pennsylvania, the proponents of the will copy must have two competent witnesses, testifying to both the execution and contents of the original. If you have questions or concerns, reach out to our skilled firm today. Our legal team can examine the details of your case and your options.

When should a will be contested?

If a will is found to be invalid, it may be challenged. Beneficiaries may recognize signs of duress or genuinely feel the testator was not in the right mind when constructing the will. This may supply a family member with bases to contest the will. However, you will want to acknowledge that not just anyone can contest a will. If the will is found invalid, only an individual who stands to benefit from the estate may bring an action to contest it. Pennsylvania law may permit a will to be contested on these identical grounds:

  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Improper execution
  • Undue influence

If a person finds that a loved one’s will is invalid, it is in his or her best interest to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Seeking the assistance of competent legal counsel can help an individual comprehend his or her rights, in addition to providing them with key insight and guidance on the estate planning legal process. Reach out to our firm today if you have any questions or concerns about a will. Our legal team is ready to help.


Whether you are dealing with matters involving estate planning, estate administration, or elder law, you need a legal team you can feel confident will represent your best interests, every step of the way. We are that legal team. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning today so we can get started.

Estate Planning & Probate

Whether you’re looking to secure your family’s future, protect a loved one’s assets or provide a loved one with the financial assistance he or she needs to afford long-term care, we are committed to serving your needs. We consistently offer creative and effective solutions to your most complex and sensitive estate planning needs and help your wishes come to fruition through our probate service.

Learn More

Elder Law, Medicaid Planning & Asset Protection

Everybody’s life is full of both expected and unexpected challenges. With our experience with elder law issues, we can help you enjoy the later years and retain full control over decisions that directly impact you. The attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning view every challenge as an opportunity. We can help you or your loved one today.

Read Our Recent Blog Posts