Given the fact that you made the Will in the 1980s, I'd strongly urge you to hire an attorney to update your estate planning (even if you find the old document). The odds are that something has changed -- be it your beneficiaries, Executors, etc. -- and the new Will can make sure that your wishes are accurately followed after your passing. In addition to an updated Will, you should talk with an attorney about preparing a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy to take care of financial and health care decisions if you become incapacitated prior to your death. Good luck to you.
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If you possessed the original copy of the will and misplaced it, then a copy from your attorney will not be sufficient when your heirs try and probate it. You must redo your will as soon as possible. Wills attorneys may be found via the Avvo search functions.
Pinni Bohm, Esq.
I am only licensed to practice law in New York, so this is just general educational information. You will need to contact a local attorney to attain information that pertains to your specific circumstances. No attorney-client relationship exists between us.
My colleagues have all given you good advice. Wills are very basic estate planning tools and creating a new Will should be very inexpensive. At this point, you want to make sure that a Will is the best planning tool for your objectives. There may be other options available to you that would allow you to avoid probate, for example. (A Will does not do this.) You also need to have a POA in place, in case you become incapacitated. Make sure that when you get your new documents drawn up, that YOU get to hold onto the original documents.
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