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Can't find the will

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skyrocket123skyrocket123 Forumite
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My father passed away last week and although we know he wrote a will some 30 years ago, we can't find it.
My parents were both horders and their house is bursting and we have been looking for it for the past week with no luck so far. My mum says that hey received a letter once to say the original solicitors who did the will closed down and were taken over by another firm but helpfully she can't find that letter either or remember which town it was even in  :(
What can we do (other than keep looking)?
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Replies

  • BrowntoaBrowntoa Forumite, Board Guide
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    It's a case of keep looking.

    Is it likely to be contested or fairly straightforward ? 
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  • p00hsticksp00hsticks Forumite
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    I suspect it's unlikely that your father will have the original will in the house, that'll be with the solicitors. So your efforts might be better spent ringing round the local solicitors - if they don't have the will themselves they may be able to tell you which ones closed down in the relevant timeframe and to whom their business was passed ?
  • edited 26 February at 12:07PM
    badmemorybadmemory Forumite
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    edited 26 February at 12:07PM
    Were your parents still married at the time of his death?  If so it probably doesn't matter that you can't find a will.  How was the house owned?  It may be that it automatically becomes your mothers & doesn't count as part of his estate.  Unless the estate is sizable & none of it in joint names.  Anything such as bank accounts in joint names become the "property" of the remaining holder.

    Mind you speaking as someone with a tendancy to hoard, help to de-hoard would probably be a good idea, will searching could be a good excuse & save stress for all down the line!

    I should add my condolences for your loss.  We none of us need these additional stresses at this time but it seems to happen all too often.  Please let us now how you go on.
  • skyrocket123skyrocket123 Forumite
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    Browntoa said:
    It's a case of keep looking.

    Is it likely to be contested or fairly straightforward ? 
    It wouldn't be contested, my mum says it pretty much all goes to her and then on her death to me and my brother jointly.

    p00hsticks 

    I suggested doing that last night but she now thinks it might be one of three large towns the will was done in...
    They did have a copy of it because it was kept in one part of the house and then when that was refurbished moved elsewhere but where is the big question.
    badmemory 

    Yes they were still married, the house was in both their names but my father had investments in his name because he did all the financial stuff.
    I agree about the decluttering, it's a mammoth job and it's stressing me out.
    Thank you for your kind words, I will keep you updated

    Mind you speaking as someone with a tendancy to hoard, help to de-hoard would probably be a good idea, will searching could be a good excuse & save stress for all down the line!

    I should add my condolences for your loss.  We none of us need these additional stresses at this time but it seems to happen all too often.  Please let us now how you go on.



  • sharondavis19sharondavis19 Forumite
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    @skyrocket123. Have you checked if the solicitor logged it with the probate registry (quite a common practice for just this situation):  https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate
  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
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    any idea of the name of the original solictors? I had a similar problem with Uncle's missing will - he was due to make a new one but was too unwell to see the solicitor (suspect he destroyed the old one while in hospital) .We managed to find the successors to a couple of local solicitors and asked them but they had no records, so in the end had to go for intestate. 
  • clodagh_trubbleclodagh_trubble Forumite
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    My condolences on you loss, I had almost exactly the same problem, although my dad's was self drafted so no copy elsewhere.  I have spent six months decluttering the hoarded papers and 'stuff' of forty plus years, and searching every envelope and folder, but never did find the will, so ended up having to go with intestacy.  In the end there was enough of their assets jointly owned that it has made no difference re IHT etc.  Good luck with your search and hope you can find a solution.  Mum's house still has more stuff than I am comfortable with but at least the rooms are navigable and I know where all the paperwork is now!!
  • xylophonexylophone Forumite
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    Where were your parents living thirty years ago? Would this help with the location of the  firm of the solicitor who drafted the will?
    Does your mother know where her own will is? If so, could Dad's be with it?
    Did your father keep any form of  file where he held his savings and investment paperwork?
    Have you checked his wardrobe?
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    I'd say worth Mum reviewing her will now, and to save future hassle writing a new one with her current wishes. 

    By the way, you can get professional decluttering services: I knew someone who did this, and talked to another. They work in a very respectful way, at the pace of the person needing their help, but the really great thing is that if you end up with a pile of 'to go', they will in my experience take it away to the relevant destination - charity shop, recycling centre, wherever. 
    Still knitting!
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  • nom_de_plumenom_de_plume Forumite
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    It wouldn't be contested, my mum says it pretty much all goes to her and then on her death to me and my brother jointly.

    Unless he has significant assets held solely in his name (more than £250,000) then the lack of a Will is not such a big issue. It will all go to your mum by default under the rules of intestacy.

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