What Happens if the Original Will Is Lost ?

When applying for probate, the probate registry will always insist on the original will, so what happens when the original has been lost ?

The starting point is always to make sure you have checked carefully for the original will, frequently law firms will have closed down and as such you must check with the following :-

  • The SRA(Solicitors regulatory authority ) if the firm has been intervened or closed the SRA maybe holding the original will
  • Another law firm – if a firm merged or closed another solicitors practice may have taken over holding original documents such as wills, the SRA should be able to confirm the name of the firm who is the successor in title
  • Local law societies – a list can be seen by clicking here. They often have local knowledge and maybe able to assist in tracing the original will
  • Certainty. They are a national register for original wills storage.
  • The central probate registry in london does hold original wills and as such it is worth checking there as well.

Applying for probate with a copy will

A specific application can be made to the probate Registry to admit a copy will. Unfortunately, the process can be quite complicated, and far from straightforward. Firstly, the Probate court will require a detailed statement covering the loss of the original will, whilst secondly those prejudiced by the Copy will, will need to consent to the application. Eg. The surviving blood relatives. Clearly if the copy will is different to the intestacy rules, a significant dispute can arise whilst the Court has to be satisfied that the original will has not be revoked, in some way.

How We Can help

If you need help with a lost original will case we can help. We have acted in many cases in which the original will has been lost and have successfully submitted many applications successfully to the probate court, we have also handled those cases in which issues have arisen relating to whether the original will has been been revoked. Tim Murden heads our team and can be contacted at tim.murden@tmsolicitors.co.uk or by by calling on 01482 429985

Probate Advice

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