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We are now told spouse's parent had a new will written up by an attorney "because she did not like the wording on the old will." We were told by spouse's sibling, who now has financial POA, that parent then decided she liked the old will better & parent then tore up the new will. Is this kosher, meaning, is the old will then considered las egal? I'm more than ever convinced they are nuts, lying or both. I give spouse kudos for dealing with them.

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Daughter, thanks for the update. Interesting how the situation turned out!

I'm really shocked though that the attorney doesn't keep any copy of the will he drafted.
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Hi GardenArtist Will try to answer your last post as best I can. Second hand info--spouse's sib says they called attorney who did the will & told him about parent & tearing up newest will--lawyer said do whatever parent wants to do about the will. It is my understanding that sibling/parent had the original of the new will. My spouse had stopped at the lawyer's office after parent let slip that a visit to lawyer had been made, all news to my spouse. The DPOA, a Living Will and the (now former) "new will" were drawn up at the lawyers with only the parent and sibling present. My spouse was not invited to be present. Anyhow, the lawyer could not disclose (because of confidentiality) to my spouse whether he had done papers for spouse's parent, but lawyer DID say to my spouse that his practice is to give clients the original of a will and that he (the lawyer) does not keep a copy of the will. So it appears the destroyed will was the original of the newest will. Hurray, will add that spouse was now given originals of old will and of DPOA to make copies of same. P.S. An explanation of family dynamics would give insight into all this, but it's not appropriate to go into that here. Again, thank you for your great advice.
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You're more than welcome. If you have time and wouldn't mind, could you post a follow-up on what the attorney says? I'm curious how this would be handled if the version your MIL destroyed was in fact the original executed Will. This would help me and others who might have interest in this incident.
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Your answer is informative and gives me the questions we need to ask. Thank you many times over.
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Just to make sure I understand: your MIL had a new will prepared, then tore it up? Presumably she thought that would invalidate it?

Assuming the new will was in fact that, and not a codicil (basically an amendment), typically there would be wording in it stating that it supercedes and revokes any and all prior wills. So that would in effect render null and void the earlier will.

However, now that the new will has been destroyed, without having been revoked so that the first will is the valid one, I guess the question would be whether anyone has the new will and would look to it in the event of MIL's death.

Did she destroy the original will or a conformed copy? If the latter, it isn't going to render the will invalid.

The attorney would certainly have a conformed copy, if not the original will (many attorneys have vaults for storage of original wills) and would assume that it's still valid. If anyone else has a copy of the new Will, he/she would look to that in the event of a death.

I've never heard of anyone tearing up a will, but I don't believe that legally renders it invalid; it just destroys the paper copy.

The biggest issues I see are (1) the stability of someone who didn't like will #1, then didn't like will #2 and tore it up and (2) who has the original will #2.

I can't help wondering if MIL really understands either the terms of the will or what she's doing.

I think the sibling who is named in the DPOA should contact the attorney to let him/her know of the situation and see if he/she can prepare a reinstatement of the first will. I'm not really sure of the proper legal procedure because I've never experienced this while working at law firms.
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