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Locating a will

(10 Posts)
Prudence99 Tue 26-Apr-16 19:44:30

Brother recently died. He hadn't been in contact for years, moved miles away from family. We have had the funeral which we paid for and are now hoping to start sorting out his estate. The only thing of any value is his house.

Is there any easy way of finding out if someone has made a will? Over 20 years ago he said he might make one, one day. He was single with no kids.

We have searched high and low and can find no trace of a will. He lived in a huge town which we don't know very well. There are loads of solicitors in this town (from looking through the local phone book) so don't know if we'd have to contact each and every one of them and ask them if they hold a copy.

We don't want to go ahead and start sorting things out until we are 100% sure if a will exists.

Can anyone offer any advice please?

stiffstink Tue 26-Apr-16 19:48:20

There is a register called Certainty that some firms use, you could try that.

If the house was purchased using a particular firm he might have gone back to them to make a will.

Maverick66 Tue 26-Apr-16 20:00:09

Sorry for your loss.
I would suggest you start with solicitors in the town your brother lived.
If you ring or write/email them giving them full details of your brother ie full name, date of birth, address and date of death plus any names he may have been known by.
You could also try solicitors in any previous areas he may have lived.
Do same with banks and building societies in his area as quite often people write a will and leave it with bank for safe keeping.
Hope this helps.

Prudence99 Tue 26-Apr-16 22:30:36

Thanks for your replies.

MummyBex1985 Wed 27-Apr-16 08:10:39

When my DM died we did a wills search with Certainty. I also rang local solicitors that she had used previously and checked with both banks she had accounts with, and also the banks solicitors. And checked everywhere when clearing the house out.

I drew a complete blank.

You're legally required to conduct a reasonable search, and a certainty report usually is sufficient to show that you've tried!

Prudence99 Wed 27-Apr-16 13:10:57

I've just phoned the solicitor who dealt with his house sale back in the 1990s. They asked for all my brother's details, name, address and date of birth. I gave these but now realise I gave them the wrong year of birth. I was one year out. Will this have made any difference to their search? They informed me they don't hold his will.


Rangirl Wed 27-Apr-16 13:42:34

I don't think that will make any difference Have you been through his papers Usually a person would have a copy of the Will with their papers If no will is found the estate will be wound up as an intestate estate

Prudence99 Wed 27-Apr-16 16:39:16

We've looked everywhere and can't find a will. Tried his bank, nothing there. Was thinking to maybe use Certainty as a last resort to do a will search. But what actually happens? I've been looking at their website and want to use the service that costs £40. If my brother's name comes up on their list do they just give me details of which solicitor holds the will, or do they actually allow me a copy of the will?


stiffstink Wed 27-Apr-16 23:38:43

The Certainty website suggests that the search notifies the solicitor holding the Will (if registered) and the solicitor will then contact you for proof of death.

Prudence99 Thu 28-Apr-16 11:30:23

Have just ordered a will search from Certainty. I think it said on their website it takes up to 10 days, so assuming solicitors offices don't work weekends and bank holidays I'll give it about 15 days and if I haven't heard anything at the end of that time I'll assume there was no will made.

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