How do I obtain a copy of the Will?
If a family member or close friend dies, you may be unclear as to whether you are named in their Will or you may wish to find out who benefits from their estate so that you can decide whether to contest the Will. They are various ways in which to obtain a copy of the deceased Will:
- Ask a relative or the Executor Ask a relative or the executor or the deceased’s solicitor. Whilst all Wills are eventually made public only the Executors are entitled to a copy of the Will – all beneficiaries of the Will should be notified, however, beneficiaries do not have an automatic right to a copy of the Will.
In the case of disputed Wills, the solicitor or Will writer should make a copy of the Will and all relevant documents available.
- Standing Search If you cannot find a copy of the Will, or do not know who the executor is, you can apply to any probate registry in England and Wales to lodge a standing search. All Wills or letters of administration (if the deceased died without a Will) are made public when a grant (the document confirming the legal authority given to the Executor/personal representative) is applied for.
A standing search is a simple form which needs to be completed providing details of the deceased, including their full name, last known address and date of death, together with details of the person lodging the standing search – the individual applying simply has to briefly state why they have an interest in the deceased’s estate. The Standing Search from will then need to be filed with the Probate Registry together with the requisite fee.
We are aware that contesting a Will or defending a claim is a difficult time for those involved; not only is there the pressure, stress and strain of being involved in legal action but this is at a time when you are grieving for a loved one and often involves family members.
We pride ourselves on conducting inheritance disputes with the compassion and sensitivity required.We can provide you with a unique service, as our team are specialised not only in bringing contested claims after the event, but also in administering estates and Will drafting, so we can advise on steps to be taken to avoid claims.