Testament lost – still valid
Usually if you refer to a testament favoring you and your position, you have to show the original.
But it can also happen that the original just cannot be found. German jurisdiction has stated several times that the mere fact that the original testament cannot be physically shown does not necessarily mean that the original was destroyed – and thus revoked.
An original could have been put in a place that only the testator knows – some very „secret“ place and later nobody will know about it.
But obviously without the original it is very difficult to prove that the testament was formally valid for one thing, for another the content has to be proven.
Witnesses will be hardly enough for that. How would they be able to prove the exact wording of the testament?
If a testament was lost in its original, you will need a copy of it. A copy in good quality – which is necessary to make an expertise on the handwriting possible, if needed.
So if the original testament was lost, it does not mean that the whole case is lost. With a copy of the original you might have a fair chance for your cause. Without a copy, it is probably very hard case – but still not totally hopeless. In any case, you should contact an expert.
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