How do I locate someone’s Will after they have died?
Posted on 6th November 2023
It is already a stressful and, frankly, distressing situation when you have lost your loved one. There are so many matters to think about: dealing with the funeral, notifying their other loved ones and friends, and another important consideration is trying to find out if they left a Will and, if they did, where it is stored. In the UK, when someone has died, finding their will can involve a few steps:
Search at Home
Initially, it's advisable to search the deceased person's home as many people store their wills there, especially in safes or secure, locked places. Alternatively, if their Will is not located at home, you may find a record of which Will-drafting Solicitors prepared the original Will, which could indicate that it is stored there.
Contact local Wills and Probate Solicitors
If there’s no record in the deceased’s home of who prepared their Will, you could try contacting local Solicitors for Wills and Probate, to make enquiries about whether your loved one made a Will with them. Usually, they will require your details, and your loved one’s details, as well as sight of a death certificate, before they can divulge any information to you.
National Will Register
The National Will Register allows you to search for a will, helping verify if a will was made or if you have the most up-to-date version to administer an estate correctly. You can carry out a search online, from as little as £58.80, with more comprehensive searches also offered.
If you have no luck with any of the above, it may be that your loved one did not make a Will. In these circumstances, contact your local Wills and Probate Solicitors, who will be able to offer advice and assistance about the next steps and how your loved one’s estate will pass. Our Probate Solicitors can be contacted at your local office, here, or fill out the contact form below and a member of our team of Probate Solicitors will be in touch within one working hour to discuss how we can assist.
Where should I store my original Will?
Well, if you have gone to the effort of making a Will, you should carefully consider your options for where to store it. Our Probate Solicitors would suggest considering the following:
Solicitors are regulated; hence, if a will is lost or damaged, there's a recourse to make things right. However, if the solicitor storing the will didn't write it, there might be extra charges, or some solicitors may not even offer storage of Wills which they have not drafted.
At MG Legal, our Wills and Probate Solicitors offer free-of-charge storage of original Wills to all clients who have made a Will with us. This means that, for no additional cost, you can rest-assured that your Will is catalogued, and stored safely and securely, until it’s required.
HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS)
National Will Register
They offer a service called National Will Safe, where your Will and other legal documents are stored in a waterproof wallet in a specialist document archive facility, fully insured against loss or damage.
You could store your will at home, in a locked safe for instance, although there's always the risk of it being misplaced, stolen, or damaged.
Storing a Will at a solicitor's office is a safe and common practice, but other options like HMCTS, the National Will Register, or online document storage can also provide secure and accessible solutions if your local Wills and Probate Solicitors are not able to assist. However, at MG Legal, we’re happy to store your original Will, once we have arranged for your signature of the final document, at no additional charge.
Contact our Wills Solicitors today for assistance with the preparation and storage of your Will. You can find your local office, here, or call 01772 783314 for immediate assistance.
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