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Legal News | 8.10.20

Lost Will? Lost cause?

When a person dies, it can sometimes be difficult to locate their original Will. Once prepared, a Will is often hidden away for ‘safekeeping’ until it is required.
Finding the original Will of a person who has died is important as it outlines how they would like their assets distributed and may contain details regarding funeral wishes. It will also be required for a grant of probate application.

There currently is no central database that stores all original Wills so prior knowledge as to the location of the person’s Will is paramount for starting the probate process. Of course, if you have elected to have a Wansbroughs’ DocSafe account then an electronic copy of your Will is easily accessible that way but that is not the case for everyone.

So ….where to search for a person’s original Will?

• Check if the person who has died has stored it with their other important papers.

• Ask close relatives and friends of the person who died if they know where the Will might be held.

• Contact the solicitors who you think prepared the Will, or the person’s usual solicitor, as it may be that they hold the original Will.

• Contact a number of local solicitors to see if they hold the Will; this is a good idea if the person who died used a number of solicitors in their lifetime.

• If the solicitors no longer exists, it is a good idea to contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority as they will be able to let you know which firm may now hold the Will.

• Check with the person’s bank or other professional advisers as they may hold the original Will.

We can assist you not only with the above steps but also with the full estate administration, so please do not hesitate to contact us. We can also help you if the original Will cannot be found, or only a photocopy is available, or explain the position if the deceased left no Will.

For more information please contact us on 01380 733300 or wealth@wansbroughs.com.


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team