What to do if a Will was found after probate was opened?

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What to do if a Will was found after probate was opened?

My mother died about 3 weeks ago. I filed a petition over a week ago with the probate court to be the executor of her estate which consists of only her house. Since doing so, we found what appears to be a valid Will written in my mother’s handwriting and signed by her in the presence of a notary dated 4 years ago. Can I still submit this Will to the court? Do I need to be present at the time? I live temporarily overseas and did not locate the document until after returning there?

Asked on November 27, 2011 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you filed a petition for the probate of your mother's estate and post filing the petition you found what appears to be a handwritten Will (holographic Will) signed by your mother, you submit this Will to the court as part of the probate process. You simply attach the original Will to a face sheet referencing the probate matter and file it with the court clerk. Make sure you have a copy with you so the court clerk can give you a conformed copy.

You do not need to be present when you submit the original Will to the court for filing. You can have a friend do it for you. I suggest that you consult with a Wills and trust attorney concerning any futher questions you may have about the probate process.


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