How to Find a Will.
Looking for a Lost Will?
Please don’t contact us looking for a lost Last Will unless your Will was written by one of the named firms. Here are some other methods of finding Lost Wills:
- Check with the deceased’s Bank and/or Building Society;
- Write to all Solicitors local to where the deceased lived at the time of death, then try previous areas they had lived in. If you can track down the secretary to the local Law Society, they may be able to circulate local solicitors on your behalf.
- Check the depository of the Principal Registry of the Family Division;
- Organise a standing search at the Principal Registry to monitor any applications for a grant of probate for the deceased from another person holding the Last Will or claiming to be the next of kin.
- Advertise in newspapers local to the deceased’s address at death and previous addresses as appropriate and if necessary;
- Contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority who may either have the Last Wills prepared by solicitors who have gone out of business, or know which firm took over an old firm which no longer exists. We understand that they are well behind in cataloging documents from bankrupt firms.
- Advertise in the Law Society Gazette (Wills & Whereabouts section);
- Contact members of the Society of Will Writers local to the deceased, and the Societies Head Office on 01522 687 888 – ask for the Custody Department.
- Contact members of the Institute of Professional Willwriters local to the deceased’s last known addresses.
- A number of firms have tried to create a cohesive database, probably the largest one is Certainty.
- Will Finders might be worth a try.
Some Last Wills are stored by the Courts:
The official enquiry line is 0300 303 0648 but during the Covid crisis it may take an hour to get through. This email may be a useful alternative: email@example.com
The main Registry for storage matters is now:
Newcastle District Probate Registry
1 Waterloo Square
Here is the address of the Principal Probate Registry office London:
London Probate Department, Principal Registry of the Family Division, First Avenue House, 7th Floor, 42-49 High Holborn, Holborn. London WC1V 6NP.
Safe custody / Caveat and Summons enquiries 020 7947 7022. If you are storing a Will, and you don’t have Lasting Powers of Attorney click the link they are VITAL).
If you cannot find a Will, (or even if you can, but want economical professional help) and are the next of kin and require professional help to administer the estate, contact www.TheProbateDepartment.co.uk.
FIND A LOST WILL.