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. 

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The National Will Register

There is a National Will Register, www.certainty.co.uk. Searching for a Will with Certainty.co.uk 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.

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