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Legal News | 10.02.22

When there’s not a Will, is there still a way?

What can you do if a Will cannot be found?

Searches you can undertake

First, you should ensure you have thoroughly searched the deceased’s home. Often, Wills are stored in offices, safes or in the deceased’s bedroom. Rarely they can be stored in more unusual places!

Secondly, any solicitor firms with whom the deceased had dealings should be contacted to check whether they have a Will. Please be aware that if you want the Will released that will only be to the appointed executor(s), who will need to supply proof of ID as well as the death certificate.

In some instances banks also hold Wills or property deeds on behalf of individuals, so that can be another avenue to explore.

Finally, you can make enquiries of the Principal Registry of the Family Division (part of the High Court) or the National Will Register. However, please note that there is no legal obligation to register a Will in the UK and so any such search may not be conclusive.

If you find a photocopy of the Will

If you can only find a copy of the signed Will, and not the original, you can still apply for a Grant of Representation. However, you will need to take steps to prove this copy of the Will. In circumstances such as this, professional legal advice really helps and Wansbroughs can advise.

If no Will is found

If no Will can be found, the deceased died intestate (without a Will). Wansbroughs can help and guide you through that process.

If you need help administering an estate, either with or without a Will, please get in touch with your usual contact at Wansbroughs or email us at wealth@wansbroughs.com.



Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team