After the loss of a loved one, inquiries about their will might not be your initial concern. However, understanding whether they had a will is crucial, especially for their immediate family. In this article, we’ll explore various avenues to ascertain if someone has a will, including online methods applicable in the UK.

Understanding Wills

A will is a legal document outlining how an individual wishes their estate to be managed and distributed after their passing. It specifies beneficiaries and instructions for asset allocation. When a person dies without a will, it complicates matters, often leading to intestacy issues. At John M Lewis & Co, our Wills, Trusts & Probate team can guide you through the process of will drafting and its importance.

Methods to Determine if Someone Has a Will Posthumously

Discovering if someone had a will after their passing can be challenging but crucial. Here are some avenues to explore:

Searching the Deceased’s Residence: Begin by searching the deceased’s home for the original will. It might be among their important documents, stored away securely.

Contacting the Deceased’s Bank: Sometimes, individuals entrust their wills to their banks. However, detailed information might only be accessible to named executors.

Consulting their Solicitor: The solicitor who drafted the will might hold the original copy. At John M Lewis & Co, we often store wills on behalf of our clients, providing a reliable avenue for retrieval.

Accessing a Will Online in the UK

The National Will Register can potentially provide access to a copy of the will online. Executors can view the will before probate, and beneficiaries may obtain copies afterward through the official Probate registry.

Considerations: It’s important to note associated costs, which can exceed £50 for a search, with no guarantee of locating the will.

Alternative Methods

Aside from the aforementioned methods, other avenues might yield results:

Contact from the Executor: If you are a named beneficiary, the executor of the will might reach out to inform you of your entitlements.

Public Disclosure: Once probate is granted, the will becomes public knowledge via a government database. However, this process can take 6-9 months.

Seek Guidance from John M Lewis & Co

For assistance with will drafting, probate, or estate administration, reach out to our dedicated team at John M Lewis & Co. We’re committed to providing support and guidance during challenging times, ensuring peace of mind for you and your family.