The initial step in the probate process is for the executor to produce the last will and testament of the decedent. The original copy of the will should be produced before the Register of Wills in the county where the decedent resided at the time of death. If the original cannot be located, it may be possible to move forward with a copy of the will. Prior to the court permitting the use of any copy, it must be satisfied that every attempt has been made to produce the original document.

An executor or other interested party can file a petition to compel production of the original will if they suspect another party is holding the original and will not voluntarily produce it. This petition should be filed with the Register of Wills. There is often a filing fee assessed at the time of filing which varies by county. Once filed, the petition must be served on the respondent or person(s) you suspect may have the original will. A certain time period would be established for the person to produce the will or appear in court for a hearing.