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"Make a Will" written on a notebook, with a pen to the side, next to a potted cactus; our Wills Solicitors in Preston discuss when a Will becomes a public document.
When planning for the future, drafting a Will is a fundamental step in ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death.  
Our expert Wills Solicitors in Preston can assist with the preparation of your Will, as well as the process of administering an estate. They are often required to explain whilst acting for a client with the preparation of their Will that while a Will is a private document during the lifetime of the testator (the person who has made the Will), its status changes once the probate process begins. Understanding when a Will becomes a public document and exploring whether it’s possible to prevent this from happening is essential for those concerned with privacy and the handling of their estate. 
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Contact our Wills Solicitors in Preston 

When Does a Will Become a Public Document? 

A Will typically becomes a public document after the testator’s death, once it is submitted to a Probate Registry as part of the process of applying for Probate. Probate is the legal procedure through which a deceased person’s Will is approved by the court as a valid document, which can thereafter be administered by the executors named within. 
Submission to Probate Court: The executor of the estate must file the Will with the Probate Registry in England and Wales. This is a necessary step to move forward with administering the estate. 
Probate Records: Once the Will is filed with the Probate Registry, it becomes public record, and anyone can obtain a copy of the Will and, indeed, the Grant of Probate directly from the website at a cost of £1.50 per document. 

Can You Prevent a Will From Becoming a Public Document? 

Given the public nature of probate records, many of our Wills Solicitors in Preston’s clients wonder if it’s possible to keep the contents of a Will private. Unless the Court can be persuaded to seal the Will, which only generally happens in extreme cases, such as the famous case of The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s Will being sealed for 90 years, a person’s Will shall become a public document if Probate is required. Find out when Probate is required from our Wills Solicitors in Preston, here. 
While a Will generally becomes a public document once it is submitted to the Probate Registry, during your lifetime they are private documents, generally only being read by you, your spouse or partner (if you make mirror Wills), and your Wills Solicitors in Preston when they prepare the document.  
One alternative for making private comments within your Will, to prevent these become public, is to consider a letter to be placed with your Will. You should always seek legal advice from expert Wills Solicitors before opting for a such a method, as the separate document is generally not legally binding, and only certain wishes should be contained within this. 
To speak to our Wills Solicitors in Preston, contact 01772 783314 or email for a call back within one working hour from our expert team. 

Contact Us Today: 

To speak to a fully-qualified Wills Solicitor in Preston, contact us online here. 
Or give us a call on 01772 783314. 

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