An Affidavit of Lost Will is needed by an affiant in the event that the affiant has lost or damaged a last will and testament. The Affidavit of Lost Will can be used in extreme cases when an attorney or court has lost, inadvertently destroyed, or misplaced a will. The affiant will swear to the date of the will and the statements of fact included in the will on the Affidavit of Lost Will.
In an Affidavit of Lost Will the affiant must prove that the facts included in the will are true and the will has not been revoked. A will is deemed revoked if the original copy of the will was destroyed by the decedent.
An example of an Affidavit of Lost Will was used nearly one hundred years ago in the case of a will belonging to a couple traveling on the Titanic. The deceased and his wife both executed their wills in front of witnesses before they departed on the fateful voyage. The wife was saved, the husband wasn’t. In an Affidavit of Lost Will, the wife swore that the will was locked in a trunk in their cabin and went down with the ship. The facts were sworn by the wife and attested to by witnesses. The next of kin did not oppose the facts. The judge moved for a grant of probate of the contents of the lost will as contained in the Affidavit of Lost Will until the original will could be found.
This Affidavit of Lost Will used by the lady on the Titanic was an extreme case, but problems locating a will are a common occurrence. Remember that you must swear an oath that the facts of the will are true and that you are under penalty of perjury for any misleading statements when filling an Affidavit of Lost Will.