What Happens If a Will Is Lost
Posted on 22nd August 2023 at 15:17
A Will takes effect on death so it’s important that you keep it safe for when its needed. You may choose to store it with the Will Writer/Solicitor, a professional storage company or to keep it at home yourself.
But what happens if you pass away, and the Will cannot be found????
Firstly, your Executors/Personal Representatives would need to conduct a very thorough search to try and find the original Will, for example.
1. Speaking to family and friends
2. Checking with professional Will Writers and Solicitors in the local area to see if they were instructed by you to write a Will or even, they even hold your original Will.
3. Place an advert in the Law Society Gazette
4. Contact a search organisation such as the National Will Register
What if a copy is found but not the original?
There are instances when a copy of a Will is found but not the original. The question then arises as to whether the original Will has been revoked (re written) or the copy does represent your current Wishes, you must therefore trace where the original is being kept.
If the original Will was known to be in your possession, the Executors would need to consider, could it have been destroyed and therefore revoked (cancelled) and if there is no evidence to contrary a copy of the Will could not been admitted to Probate and therefore the Estate would pass in accordance with the Laws of Intestacy and this might not have been what you wanted.
To prevent your Executors/Personal Representatives from facing such situations, its important when you write a Will to inform them where it is kept, record details of where your Will is so that it can be easily located or better still have your Will stored professionally instead. Whilst there may be a fee for this it ensures your documents are safe when they are needed.
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