Very often family and friends of a deceased person often ask, how can they find out if the deceased left a will ?
Understandably, there are lots of reasons why someone may want to discover the contents of a will, they may want to contest a will, make a claim against the estate ( for a liability ) understand whether they are a beneficiary or perhaps just curiosity !
Unfortunately, there is no central of wills in the UK, which makes finding a will often difficult, however in our experience the majority of wills, are held at banks, solicitors, or will writers. The Central Probate Registry in London do store wills however this facility is not used very often. Often the person who has arranged the funeral will be the best person to contact to determine whether there is a will.
As a will becomes a public document once probate is issued, this means that you can always apply to the probate registry and obtain a copy of a will. One way of being notified the moment probate has been issued is through registering something called a Standing Search, this is issued at the probate registry and lasts for 6 months and is issued against the deceased persons name, date of death and address. If probate is issued you will be sent a copy of the probate and will issued.
If probate has been issued, the government recently introduced a new online search in which you can check online whether probate has been issued and if so order a copy of a will. You can access the online will service by clicking here