FAQs (Frequently asked questions)

It is easy to find a copy of a will if probate has been granted. As soon as there is a grant of probate, the will becomes a public document. You can simply secure a copy of the will and a copy of the Grant of Probate by completing the Probate Service’s online form at https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

Alternatively, you can print the form and send it through the post, although this takes longer to secure the documents.

The Probate Service charges a nominal fee for this purpose.

If probate has not been granted, then unfortunately you have no actual entitlement to see the will unless you are the executor.

You may be able to find a copy of the will at the person’s home, or with his/her bank or solicitor. Failing this, you may be able to secure a copy from Certainty – the National Will Register at https://www.nationalwillregister.co.uk/ . If these attempts fail, the executors may agree to give you a copy.

If all these attempts prove to be fruitless, you can apply to enter a “standing search” with the Probate Registry. It lasts for 6 months and if probate is granted within that timescale, you will be provided with a copy of the will and the grant. You can apply for a standing search online at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-a-will-or-probate-document-form-pa1s

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