MG Legal Solicitors 
Longridge: 01772 783314 Garstang: 01995 602129 Lancaster: 01524 581306 Lytham: 01253 202452  
A yellow pen on a blue background; our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster discuss who has a right to read a Will.
When a person passes away, their Will becomes a critical document, setting out the distribution of their estate in line with their wishes. However, before the terms of the Will can be carried out, it is often a question of who is entitled to read, and implement, it. This question often arises, creating uncertainty among family members, beneficiaries, and other interested parties. Understanding who has the legal right to view a Will after death is essential to ensure the estate is administered properly, and to reduce any conflict between parties during this process. 
Firstly, our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster would explain that, whilst the testator, the person who made the Will, is alive, usually only they, or people they have legally authorised, can look at their Will. For example, solicitors who prepare Wills would usually only release a copy to the client who made it, or a legally authorised party, with the correct authority and procedure being followed. It is up to the Testator who sees their Will, if they do want anyone to see it at all, during their lifetime. 

Who is entitled to see a Will before Probate is granted? 

Initially, the right to read a Will is somewhat restricted. Until probate is granted, the Will is considered a private document. The primary individual entitled to read the Will at this stage is the executor, who is named in the Will to administer the estate. The executor has the responsibility to submit the Will to the Probate Registry, as part of the process to obtain the legal authority to deal with the deceased’s estates, in the process known as applying for Probate. 
The executor may choose to share the Will with the beneficiaries, although we always recommend seeking legal advice from Probate Solicitors in Lancaster before doing this, as the contents of a Will should remain private, until the Will is proved to be the last Will of the Testator. 

Who is entitled to see a Will after Probate is granted? 

Once Probate is granted, the situation changes significantly. The Will becomes a public document, and anyone can request a copy from the Probate Registry on at a cost of £1.50. This means that after Probate, any member of the public, including family members not named in the Will, creditors, or even those with a casual interest, or no interest at all, have the right to view the Will. 

Who would usually want to see a person’s Will? 


Individuals or charities named in the will as recipients of assets or specific bequests naturally have an interest in understanding the contents of the Will. 

Family Members 

Even if not named as beneficiaries, family members often wish to know the Will’s contents for closure or to understand the Testator’s final wishes. 


Creditors may wish to view the Will to understand how the estate’s debts will be settled. 

People who wish to claim 

Individuals who believe they were unjustly omitted or treated unfairly in the Will may seek to contest the Will’s provisions. Reviewing the Will is a crucial first step, so they may know whether they are indeed included in the Will. 

Why choose MG Legal's Probate Solicitors in Lancaster? 

Transparent fees. 

We are the experts. 

Multiple Office Locations. 

Give us a call any time. 

Special Considerations to have about who can read a Will 

While the general rules regarding who can read a Will are relatively straightforward, special considerations may apply in certain situations. For example, if there is a dispute over the validity of the Will or the appointment of the executor, the court may need to intervene, potentially altering who has access to the Will during the legal proceedings. In addition, executors may wish to release the Will to a party, to try and reduce the chance of any dispute arising. 
Understanding who is entitled to read a Will after death is fundamental to the probate process and the administration of the estate. Initially, access to the Will may be limited to the executor and possibly the beneficiaries, but once probate is granted, the Will becomes a public document. If you believe you have a right to see the Will and are being denied access, it may be beneficial to seek legal advice from Probate Solicitors in Lancaster to clarify your rights and ensure the Testator’s wishes are carried out as intended. 
Contact our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster at MG Legal to discuss your loved one’s estate on 01524 581 306 or email to find out how we can assist. 

Contact Us Today: 

To speak to our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster, contact us online here. 
Or give us a call on 01524 581 306. 

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