Locating Key Documents When Someone Dies
When trying to locate a Will, there are other documents that you should look out for. At the stage of locating a Will, you may already have possession of the birth, marriage, and death certificates, as these would have been required/distributed at the point of registering the death.
Other important paperwork that you should gather are pension details, insurance policies, and bank and/or building society accounts. Whilst you may not need these documents at the time, you will likely need them later if applying for a Grant of Probate in England and Wales (or Confirmation in Scotland).
There are a few steps to take when looking for someone’s Will:
- Search the deceased’s property. It could be filed away with other important documents that may be useful down the line.
- Ask Solicitors and Will Writers local to the deceased. It may be stored professionally. In this case, only the Executor will be able to obtain it.
- Contact the deceased’s bank. Banks also store Wills and other key documents. Again, the Executor may have to do this themselves.
- Will database. The National Will Register currently stores nearly 10 million Wills. Prices start at £45.60 for a Will Register Search (as of June 2022).
If a Will cannot be found, the estate will need to be administered under the rules of intestacy, meaning it must be distributed following the rules dictated by law in the country where the deceased was domiciled. An Administrator will need to be appointed to apply for Letters of Administration rather than probate.
25 July 2022
The views expressed in this blog do not in any way constitute advice and are specific to the date noted. As time passes the facts can change and readers should consult their adviser for up to date advice on any matters covered within the blog. Invest Southwest offers an initial review, which is free of charge, however long it takes. From this we will be able to confirm how we can help and give you an opportunity to decide if you would like us to. Thereafter, we will provide you with detailed recommendations and exact costs. Please note that we promise not to levy any kind of fee unless we can demonstrate a benefit to you.
- How to find a Will
- Do I need a Solicitor for probate?
- Inheritance Tax reporting for excepted estates
- The difference between probate and estate administration
- How do you own your property? And why does it matter when you die?