Can an Original Will be Compelled to be Produced in the Probate of an Estate under Tennessee law?

Posted on Nov 3 2013 4:50PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

An original will can be compelled to be produced in a Tennessee probate estate in certain circumstances.  If fraud is suggested to have been committed in the drafting or obtaining of a last will and testament or if there is any irregularity in the execution or attestation of the will, then a party may insist on the original will being produced.  T.C.A. § 32-2-109 provides as follows:


(a) When any fraud is suggested to have been committed in the drawing or obtaining any last will, or any irregularity in the executing or attestation of the will, the party making the suggestion may insist upon the original will being produced to the court, if the original is to be found.

(b) The court, wherever any suit is pending, and in which such a domestic will may be introduced as testimony, may compel all and every person or persons, whether in office or otherwise, to produce the will.


Additionally, T.C.A. § 32-4-106 provides that a copy of a will can be used in probate court.  T.C.A. § 32-4-106 provides as follows:


If the original will is lost or mislaid so that it cannot be produced on the trial of the issue, but the paper has been copied into the pleadings, or spread upon the minutes of the court, the court may proceed with the trial of the issue in the same manner as if the original were in existence and before it.


As a result, an individual can force the original will to be produced under certain circumstances.  However, just because there is no original will, does not mean that a copy of the will cannot be probated in Tennessee.  It can be difficult to probate a copy of a will if it is missing and there is opposition, but it can be done.


Follow me on Twitter at @jasonalee for updates from the Tennessee Wills and Estates blog.

TAGS: Probate Process, Wills, Tennessee Probate Law
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. Contact Jason at 615-540-1004 or jlee@burrowlee.com for an initial consultation on wills estate planning and probate issues.

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Tennessee Wills and Estates Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com