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Problems With Locating A Will

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

When a family member has passed, there are a number of things that need to be done in order to fulfil your loved ones wishes.

You will need to establish whether or not there is Will. If there is a Will you will need to confirm who the executors are as they are the people that have the ‘legal’ authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets. They may also need to apply for a Grant of Probate (a Court Order) which will allow them to access any monies held in bank accounts and sell any properties that the deceased person held at the date of their death….but what if you can’t find the Will, or worse still it has been destroyed?

If on death the Will is in a damaged condition but is still in the deceased possession then the intention is that the deceased has revoked the Will (partially or entirely). This may be refuted by evidence to prove that the deceased did not intend to revoke the Will.

If the Will was last known to be in the deceased possession but can no longer be found, then it can be presumed that it has been destroyed with the intention to revoke. Again this can be refuted by evidence to the contrary.

Where a Will is missing or lost and the presumption is refuted, a copy or draft Will may be admitted to probate. The Application is by an Affidavit of Fact with the consent of a District Judge or Registrar. Application for the Grant is made in the usual way but the Grant may be limited under the original Will or when a more authenticated copy is proved.

In each case it falls to those who will benefit to prove that the person did not intend to revoke the Will.

Should you need specialist advice contact our Specialist Team.

Shivali Kapoor-Gill

Posted:

Shivali Kapoor-Gill

Associate

Shivali is an Associate Solicitor member of the Wills, Trusts and Estates Team and manages all Private Client matters at our Leicester office. She qualified in 2014 and has experience advising on the preparation of Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and deals with Grants of…