Question: To Your name From

To: [Your name] From: Supervising Attorney
Re: Mrs. Joyce Helger; probate of copy of lost original will
We represent Mrs. Helger in the probate of her husband's estate. Mr. Helger died four weeks ago after a sud¬den heart attack. Mrs. Helger has been unable to locate the original of Mr. Helger's will. She knows that he had prepared a will, and she has a conformed copy of the will executed December 1,2002. She also has a conformed copy of a codicil executed on May 6, 2007. She does not have the original of the codicil. Mrs. Helger thought the law firm that prepared the will kept the original, but she was informed that the firm could not locate the original. The senior partner at the firm told her that they do not keep the original of wills or codicils.
Please assess the likelihood of the probate court granting a petition for administration of the conformed copy of the will and codicil.
Rule of Law: The rule of law governing this question is case law rather than statutory law—In the Estate of Parson, 416 So. 2d 513, 515 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1982): The court held that there is a "presumption that a will which was in the possession of the testator prior to death and which cannot be located subsequent to death was destroyed by the testator with the intention of revoking it."
Case Law: The court opinion that interprets the applica¬tion of the rule stated in the previous case is the following case: In re Estate of Kuszmaul, 491 So.2d 287 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1986) (see Appendix A).

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