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Suite 1/22 Greenhill Rd, Wayville SA 5034, Australia

Category: FAQ

A large part of the Probate process is about proving things. Probate literally means “prove”. The Probate process is about proving that the Will being given to the Court is the absolute last will of the deceased and that it is a good and valid Will. The Executors then prove their identity and standing in the Will and prove the assets and liabilities and swear to act as proper Executors must.

Because the deceased is not able to speak for themselves about their Will, the standard of proof to which the Executors need to ‘prove the Will’ is high. If a Will is damaged or inexplicably worn the Court might seek an explanation as to why the Will is in the condition it is in. When this happens, the Court is seeking additional evidence (usually sworn on oath) as to why the Will is damaged. The Court is trying to be certain that, for instance, no person has tampered with the Will and removed a codicil or note that may have been attached to it or inserted or removed pages or anything else that might impact the validity of the Will.

The most common damage we see to Wills at SA Estate and Succession Lawyers is that staples or other fixing devices securing the pages of a Will together are removed. The remaining original Will is then either restapled or left as loose pages. This usually happens because of someone’s (often the deceased themselves) best intentions in producing photocopies of the Will after it is made or by the Executors or beneficiaries after the deceased dies in taking photocopies of the Will. We even see it happen at Banks and Credit Unions when clients attend to show the Bank or Credit Union the original Will.

The best way to approach the original Will is to treat it as irreplaceable and to not give it to anyone at all. Keep it safe and take it to your estate and succession lawyer who will keep the original and be able to provide you with certified copies of the Will for any purpose you may have. At SA Estate and Succession Lawyers we give our clients as many free certified copies of the Will and free certified copies of the death certificate as they may need. 

If you are in any doubt about how to look after the original Will to avoid the additional delay of a damaged Will application contact SA Estate and Succession Lawyers for your free 15 minute phone or video consultation or, if you know you need Probate, whether the Will is damaged or not, you can start the process on line with SA Estate and Succession Lawyers.

I would like to start a will

So you’ve decided to start a will. Wise move. We can help you get started. Please complete the form below noting that all fields are required. We will then email you a Will pack which includes a form that we would like you to complete as fully as possible.