The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 14: Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations

Chapter 1: WILLS

14 V.S.A. § 2. Deposit of will for safekeeping; delivery; final disposition

§ 2. Deposit of will for safekeeping; delivery; final disposition

(a) A testator may deposit a will for safekeeping in the Probate Division of the Superior Court for the district in which the testator resides on the payment to the Court of the fee required by 32 V.S.A. § 1434(a)(17). The register shall give to the testator a certificate of deposit, shall safely keep each will so deposited and shall keep an index of the wills so deposited.

(b) Each will so deposited shall be inclosed in a sealed wrapper having inscribed thereon the name and residence of the testator, the day when and the person by whom it was deposited, and the wrapper may also have indorsed thereon the name of the person to whom the will is to be delivered after the death of the testator. The wrapper shall not be opened until it is delivered to a person entitled to receive it or until otherwise disposed of as hereinafter provided.

(c) During the life of the testator that will shall be delivered only to the testator, or in accordance with the testator's order in writing duly proved by oath of a subscribing witness, but the testator's duly authorized legal guardian may at any time inspect and copy the will in the presence of the judge or register. After the death of the testator it shall be delivered on demand to the person named in the indorsement.

(d) If the will is not called for by the person named in the indorsement, it shall be publicly opened at a time to be appointed by the Court as soon as may be after notice of the testator's death. If a petition to open a decedent's estate is filed in a district other than where the will has been kept, the will shall be delivered to the executor therein named or to the person whose name is indorsed on the wrapper or shall be filed in the other Court, as the Court may order.

(e) Except as provided herein, wills deposited for safekeeping or any index of wills so deposited are not open to public inspection. (Amended 1961, No. 122, eff. May 16, 1961; 1971, No. 105, § 1; 1985, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2011, No. 33, § 11b.)