How to find a Will

Our solicitors can deal with any kind of dispute relating to a Will. Speak to our specialist team on 0203 816 9314 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.

Before you can begin to challenge a person’s Will, you first need to try and obtain a copy of it. This can often cause difficulties. 

A person’s Will is a confidential document, and belongs to the person who made it, or belongs to their estate. Often, people keep their original Will at home, and do not leave copies anywhere. Therefore, sometimes, the only way to find it is to search the house. 

loading staff

The National Will Register

There is a National Will Register, Searching for a Will with is quick, efficient and low cost. Often following a bereavement, the loved ones can be left looking for a Will (Wills do get lost or mislaid over time). Certainty is endorsed by the legal profession who write and store most Wills written in the UK. Certainty not only check the Certainty National Will Register which has over two million Wills allocated to it but also has a sophisticated Will search system which connects solicitors throughout the UK.

It is not always apparent if someone has made a Will or not (a large amount of us haven't written a Will) but it is always important to do everything you can to discover if a Will exists. A Will avoids intestacy and may contain final wishes, funeral arrangements and funeral plans etc.

Certainty makes it easy to do all the things you should do, to search for a Will. To search - simply get in touch with Stephensons and we can help you use this service.

Contacting the deceased's solicitors

If the deceased used a solicitor to prepare the Will then the solicitors may hold a copy. It is usually advisable to write to solicitors that you know the deceased used, to ask whether they have a copy or the original. However, if you are not named as an executor in the Will, then you will not be automatically entitled to a copy of the Will and the solicitors can refuse to provide you with this information.

A Will becomes a public document once a grant of probate has been obtained to administer the Will. If you want to obtain a copy of a person’s Will, you can apply for a standing search with your local District Probate Registry. If you apply for a standing search, the probate registry will send you a copy of the grant, together with a copy of the Will, if one was made.

Applying for a standing search

If you wish to apply for a standing search, complete the details on this standing search form, and send it to your local District Probate Registry, together with a cheque for £10 made payable to HMCS. You must make sure that the information on the form is accurate for the search to work.

The search will remain in place for six months. Therefore, if a grant has not yet been obtained, but is issued within the next six months, the probate registry will send a copy to you. You can renew the standing search at the end of the six months by writing to the probate registry quoting your standing search number, and paying a further £10.

Contact Stephensons

If you need any advice once you have obtained a copy of the Will, please feel free to contact us on 0203 816 9314 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you.

9.3 out of 10
Trustpilot logo5-stars on trustpilot Based on count 551

We're Great

It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, and you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf.

Our Trustpilot reviews

We are so thrilled with the work Heather has done so far. She is a force to be reckoned with and exactly the person you want on your side. Her knowledge on the matter is second to none, she is very approachable and is great at explaining the complicated case to us while advising us of our best options. 
View from a Will, trust & inheritance dispute client

How much did Ilott actually change things for those challenging an estate?

After the well publicised case of Ilot v Mitson in 2017, there were concerns that the decision to award an estranged daughter around 10% of her late mother’s estate may have opened the floodgates for adult non-dependant children to bring claims...

Read more

Twitter block 1 tweet


Four new senior associates for Stephensons

Stephensons has announced its most recent round of senior associate appointments across its regulatory , clinical negligence , personal injury and employment teams. The four solicitors have shown a strong commitment to both the firm and their area...

Read more

Staff reorder - wills inheritance

  • Liam Waine
  • Alistair Gregory
  • Rachael Williams

We're always here for you

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.

Find your nearest Stephensons office and arrange a meeting

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.