Q&As

How should the person dealing with an estate proceed where they have a copy of the Will but cannot find the original? What should be put in the oath on application for the grant of probate? — 2022

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Produced in partnership with Lynne Counsell of 9 Stone Buildings
Last updated on 11/08/2022

The following Private Client Q&A produced in partnership with Lynne Counsell of 9 Stone Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How should the person dealing with an estate proceed where they have a copy of the Will but cannot find the original? What should be put in the oath on application for the grant of probate?
  • Attempts to find the original Will
  • Procedure when original will lost
  • The form of oath
  • Summary

How should the person dealing with an estate proceed where they have a copy of the Will but cannot find the original? What should be put in the oath on application for the grant of probate?

The person who must take the requisite action is the person(s) who are the executor(s) appointed under the (copy) Will.

Attempts to find the original Will

On an application for probate the original Will needs to be submitted to the Probate Registry. There is no central register of Wills in the UK and the question raises a common problem that it is often difficult for the named executor to ascertain the whereabouts of the original Will. The following efforts to trace the original will need to be taken:

  1. a thorough search of all the paperwork of the deceased

  2. enquiries of relatives as to the whereabouts of any Will

  3. contacting the solicitors or will writers who drafted the Will. If the solicitors firm no longer exists enquiries should be made with the Solicitors Regulation Authority which might have taken over the papers of the firm

  4. asking the deceased’s bank if they have the Will

  5. search the Central Probate Registry in London

Procedure when original will lost

If the original

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