Will I have to file probate if I only have a copy of the will? 2 Answers as of February 10, 2016

My friend who was homeless died leaving me $4300 at his bank. I have the copy of the will and the witnesses to verify they saw him sign it but the original I can't find anywhere. Is that going to be good enough?

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James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
Yes, the only way to probate a copy of a Will is through a full probate. Check with the bank to see if he put you on as a co-owner or a POD. You may be able to avoid the probate.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/10/2016
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
Only if you can explain what happened to the original (Oregon answer). There is a presumption that, if the original can't be found, the testator destroyed it intending to revoke it. You will have to plead and prove that is not the case essentially explain to the satisfaction of the court the reason (other than destruction by the testator) that the original will is missing. Are you sure probate is necessary? Why wouldn't the decedent simply have named you "payable on death" beneficiary of the account? Also, if that dollar amount is all the decedent owned when he passed away, a Small Estate Affidavit will be sufficient, but only if you can find the original will.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/10/2016
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