Can’t find the Will?

‘Where is my Will?’ is a question that our team often get asked.

Either that or ‘A family member has died, I’m looking for their Will, what should I do?’.

Our initial answer is bound to be ‘What information do you have so far?’.

There are a few things that we would look to establish.

In order to be able to find your Will as easily and quickly as possible you should look to ascertain the following information:

  1. Who wrote the Will
  2. When was it written
  3. Was it written by an SWW member?
  4. Do you have a copy of the Will?
  5. Do you have any evidence on where it was stored?
  6. Where have you tried looking so far?

Using the answers to these questions we can search our database of over 100,000 records to identify where the Will Writer stored their documents, whether they were an SWW member, and if they weren’t, whether we have rescued their Wills if they no longer practice.

What are the next steps?

Try to contact your Will Writer to establish whether they have the Will. If you have reason to believe that your Will is stored with a storage company then call around to establish whether your Will is safe with them:

SWW Will Search – Search over 7 million records here.
The National Will Archive – 01522 581 430
Probate Search Rooms – 0207 421 8500
Kings Court Trust – 0800 014 7336
The National Will Safe – 0345 644 6896
Certainty the National Will Register – 0845 408 0404

If you cannot locate the document and cannot find the Will Writer then you’re probably not alone. There may be others looking for their Wills as well. Speak to your local Trading Standards office and ask them for any information that they have about the person that wrote your Will.

Check with your Bank or local solicitor to see if they have the documents and do a thorough check at home.

Considerations you should make:
  • Your Will should be stored safely when it’s written. You are under no obligation to store with your Will Writer or Solicitor.
  • Your Will is not invalid if your Will writer goes out of business or retires. Your Will is made valid by the signing and witnessing of the Will – this is known as the attestation.
  • It is always a good idea to inform your executors that they are executors when the Will is created and it is wise to tell them where the Will is stored. If the document is stored with a secure facility like the National Will Archive then executors will not be able to withdraw it without a valid death certificate.
  • Your Will should be reviewed every 3-5 years to take into consideration any changes in personal circumstances.
  • You may alter or revoke your Will during your lifetime provided you still have the mental capacity to do so. You may revoke your Will expressly by writing a new one, by destroying it or by directing someone else to destroy it in your presence. Your Will is also revoked if you marry or enter in to a civil partnership unless you state in the Will that it was made in contemplation of this event.

If you need any further assistance in locating your Will, or any other associated documents, please contact us.