Locating missing wills

Where the original will (or any codicil) can not be found after the testator’s death an application may be made for leave by the court to allow a copy of the will in order to obtain the grant of representation.

Searches should be made of the deceased’s professional advisors; usually solicitors, accountants, financial advisors and banks. The deceased may have deposited his/her will at the Principal Registry or lodged a record with Certainty.

Adverts of a missing will can also be placed in the newspapers and the legal press. If a will is found, the executors must consider the possibility that the deceased may have executed a later will or codicil revoking the terms of the earlier will.

When a will cannot be found the law states that it is presumed to have been destroyed. It is therefore a matter for beneficiaries of the missing will to prove that it has not been revoked. An application can be made to the court to ask if a copy of the will or, in the absence of a copy, other evidence can be accepted in place of the original.

For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you either in our office or in your own home to talk through your requirements and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.