The SafeEstates Blog

Can You Request the Original Will After Probate?

A client recently asked me if her father’s original will could be returned to her after the probate process was over.  I had never been asked that question before and had to call the clerk’s office and look at Tennessee law to search for the answer.  I found out that the court clerk will not return the original will back after probate is finished, and that Tennessee law directs the clerk to keep original wills with the records of their offices.  I think one of the major reasons for this is that a will offered for probate can be contested for up to two years after it is admitted.  So that means if the probate case is closed after a year, there is an additional year for someone to pop up and contest the will.  Even if this period were to lapse, the clerk keeps hold of the original will to ensure that it is never lost.