COPY OF A WILL: PROBATE RECORDS
When somebody dies if the deceased person’s assets are in excess of £5,000 then a grant of probate needs to be obtained from the probate registry.
When applying for a grant of probate, the original will must be lodged with the probate registry. Once the grant is issued, the will and the grant of probate then become public documents which can be obtained from the probate registry.
It is important to appreciate that only those cases in which a grant of probate has been issued, will a will become available from the probate registry, thus if someone has only recently died then obtaining a will can be much harder if the Executor refuses to disclose a copy.
To see whether a grant of probate has been issued, you can apply for what is known as a Standing search at the probate registry. By paying a fee the Probate Registry will search their archives and see whether a grant has been issued, if so they will then send you a copy of the grant of probate together with the will. The information required by the probate registry will be:-
- Full names of the deceased (forenames & surname) including any names by which the deceased was known and the name in which the death was registered.
- Last permanent address
- Date of birth
- Date of death or a range of dates if the exact date is not known to you , you must also give your name and address
You must provide the full and correct details for the deceased. The search is made by checking the details you have provided against the probate registry records. If you give incorrect details your search is unlikely to be successful. If you do not want to contact the probate registry there are companies online that undertake searches such as Copy of a will
The Executor will not provide a copy of the will
We regularly assist clients where a copy of a will, will not be voluntarily disclosed by an executor for a particular reason. If this is the case please call our probate helpline on 0844 756 3882, and we can assist you in obtaining a copy of a will.