The UK’s Trusted Probate Specialists

Is a Photocopy of a Will Still Valid?

We help families that have problems with wills and probate and frequently we find that one of the most frustrating and worrying factors after someone has died is finding the original will itself.

Finding the original will

In the UK there is no central register of wills, this means that finding the original of a will can often prove quite difficult if it is not with the deceased’s papers. In most cases we find the original will is with a Solicitor, the Will Drafters, a bank or stored at Court at the Central London Probate Registry. But what happens if the original cannot be found ?

Is a Photocopy of a Will Still Valid ?

Tracing the original will is crucial as the probate registry will always insist on the original before they issue a grant of probate. If the original cannot be traced then a complex application can still be made to the Probate Registry. This will seek an order that the copy will be admitted to probate.

Understandably, this type of application is far from straightforward, as the probate registry will always require detailed affidavit evidence as to the loss of the original, and whether there is any evidence it has been revoked. In addition, as there is the scope for prejudice being caused by the copy will, the Court will always insist upon evidence from the blood relatives that maybe prejudiced by the copy will, of their consent that they are prepared to agree to the will be admitted. Obtaining evidence from a relative not mentioned in a copy will is often not easy, as understandably they may well argue against the copy will alleging that it has been revoked. If this arises then essentially, the matter becomes a contentious probate matter and immediate legal assistance should be obtained.

TM Solicitors are one of the few law firms having expertise in this particular area of the law of lost original wills. Tim Murden heads the team and can be contacted on 01482 429985 or via email at tim.murden@tmsolicitors.co.uk.

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