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What if a family member destroyed a will where land was to be split among the siblings and there is no other copy of it?

Birmingham, AL |

The will listed her son and two daughters who were suppose to inherit land. The will is in one of the daughters possession and she recently informed her siblings that she had destroyed the will. The deed to the land is also in that daughters name. Is there anything the rest of the siblings can do to obtain what is rightfully theirs?

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Attorney answers 3


If there were no Will and Mom died owning the land, it would be divided among the children by intestacy. The problem is not that the Will has been destroyed, it is that the land was deeded over to the daughter. Unless you can prove that the deed was obtained by fraud or undue influence, the daughter owns the land.

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You will need to seek legal counsel and try to obtain a copy and prove that the daughter destroyed it.


If there is no copy of the will, perhaps the attorney has a copy in his records. If not, you could go to the probate court in a proceeding for probate and attempt to show the daughter intentionally destroyed the will and what its contents were. It is a criminal offense in Alabama to destroy a will after death. However, you state that the deed is in the daughter's name. In that case it is not party of the parent's estate and would not be distributed according to the will in any event.

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