Help needed tracing a will

Hi
Does any wise people know how I can find out if my father left a will or not? A solicitor told me that if had not left a will, I would have been informed. I find this hard to believe as I was not even told of his death!
I have had a search done at HMCS and no will has been registered to date, but it could take years before a will is registered, so that is not conclusive.
Any suggestions about anything I can do would be most appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Getting the hang of this!

Replies

  • flyerflyer Forumite
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    I've just gone through this process following the death of a relative. We contacted all local solicitors we suspected she may have had dealings with over the years and asked them if they had prepared a will for her. The third one confirmed they did!

    Good luck.
    Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.
  • BossybootsBossyboots Forumite
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    flyer wrote:
    I've just gone through this process following the death of a relative. We contacted all local solicitors we suspected she may have had dealings with over the years and asked them if they had prepared a will for her. The third one confirmed they did!

    Good luck.

    This is probably your only way to go. The problem is though that he could have used his bank or a will writing service or indeed written his own. Or he may simply not have made one at all.

    What the solicitor told you about being informed if he left no will is technically correct but you would only need to be told if he was unmarried or had a very large estate. Unfortunately, there may be people in his life who stand to lose out if there is no will and I imagine they would not be in any hurry to let you know. You should have been informed if he had left one and if you were a beneficiary.

    Do you know if you are his next of kin? Someone has to deal with his estate whether or not there is a will. If he was unmarried and made no will then you would be next in the inheritance line.

    Not all wills are registered. Are you checking the wills register or probate register? The probate register contains details of wills where probate/letters of administration have been applied for.
  • lizweb20lizweb20 Forumite
    93 Posts
    Thanks flyer and Bossyboots.
    I did contact a few solicitors, but there are so many, I thought there must be a simpler way!
    My father's second wife is dead. My father only had me and my sister, although he did help bring up his step daughters child, so I would have thought that either my sister or myself was his next to kin.
    It was his step daughter's son that registered my father's death, (he died 20/02/05), to date he hasn't bothered to let me know that he has died.
    I did think about writing to him to ask for details of his solicitor, but am sure he would just ignore any requests.
    My father did inherit a good deal from his mother's will a couple of years ago, so am not that surprised that I haven't been told of his death.
    The search I had done at the HMCS was for a will, but the reply was from the Probate Registry.
    Thanks again.
    Getting the hang of this!
  • jonesMUFCforeverjonesMUFCforever Forumite
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    Also check with all Banks and Building Societies that your father had / used to have an account with in case it was lodged in their safe custody.
    The will itself (if there is one) will only be handed to a named executor upon satisfactorily identification.
    Eric
  • gravitytollsgravitytolls Forumite
    13.6K Posts
    How does a person go about checking teh probate register? Can it be done on line?
    I ave a dodgy H, so sometimes I will sound dead common, on occasion dead stupid and rarely, pig ignorant. Sometimes I may be these things, but I will always blame it on my dodgy H.

    Sorry, I'm a bit of a grumble weed today, no offence intended ... well it might be, but I'll be sorry.
  • lizweb20lizweb20 Forumite
    93 Posts
    If you go to https://www.courtservice.gov.uk, there is a form you can download for a probate search. It costs £5.00 for the search.
    This is what I did. Hope it is of some use!
    Getting the hang of this!
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