Law firm who has will gone in to liquidation

Looking for any advice.  My mother passed away recently and when contacting the law firm who held her will they have gone in to liquidation.  I contacted the advisory firm who is dealing with it to be told they can’t access the documents and I have to wait for another law firm to eventually take their documents on (could be months)  Is there any other way of getting hold of the will?  Can I start the probate application without the will? 
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  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,245
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    You'll need the Will. I'd have expected there to be ways of getting hold of documents more urgently than that - have you actually discussed it with them?
  • That’s all they said to me my name will be put on a spreadsheet and when the new law firm is appointed they will contact me.  
  • I noticed a lot of people do a will search for probate.  Where do they do that, maybe that will help?
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,098
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    Sounds like the solicitors have only recently gone into liquidation. Do you have a copy of it? Will her estate actually need to go through probate?
  • Yes we will need probate.  They went in to liquidation in May. I don’t have a copy just my dads from last year they had a mirror will
  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,807
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    When it happenned to a friend they were told that they must have the original will. A copy will cannot be used. They just had to wait 
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • I had the same problem.  Get in touch with the Solicitors Regulation Authority who will tell you who holds the will.  In my case the 2nd solicitor was also no longer trading and they were still able to help.  I can't post the link but "firm closed down SRA" will find it on Google. 
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 9,887
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    Bunny1818 said:
    Looking for any advice.  My mother passed away recently and when contacting the law firm who held her will they have gone in to liquidation.  I contacted the advisory firm who is dealing with it to be told they can’t access the documents and I have to wait for another law firm to eventually take their documents on (could be months)  Is there any other way of getting hold of the will?  Can I start the probate application without the will? 
    Depends if they were closed down by the SRA. If so, https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/claim-papers/ should help.

    Although you can't apply for probate without the will, you can certainly start doing the legwork in readiness, even if you aren't sure who the beneficiaries will be.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • I’ve spoken to SRA they were not shut down by them, I’ve contacted the IPW, I contacted the firm who my dads will came off (another 3rd party) and they don’t have it.  I chased up the administrator again and he said he asked the storage agents to check they can’t find it.  If even found ex employees who assure me the administrator had the documents.  I’ve now gone back to the administrator with a code that may help them locate and then if no joy from that then my only other option is to engage a solicitor myself to find it.

    I have to ask what is the point of having a will if this is allowed to happen, I know she has one because both parents had a mirror will and the law firm originally struggled to find my dads but did after I kicked up a fuss.  Just not what you need after a bereavement of a parent.  
  • poppystar
    poppystar Posts: 1,249
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    Do you have a copy of the Will?

    I was faced with the solicitor having lost my father’s Will and eventually got a ‘limited’ probate grant based on the copy I had. The application had to be accompanied by PA13 which asks lots of questions about the efforts that have been made to find the Will. I handed that over to the solicitors to complete as they were the ones that had searched for it (in vain). If you do have a copy of the Will I would be tempted, when you have gathered all the information needed, to go ahead with the application accompanied by the PA13 and an affidavit from the people handling the solicitors situation. Of course as yours are no longer in business it might be more difficult to get help from the administrators whereas in our case the solicitors had more to lose as they were still practising (not sure they should be!!). If/when the Will surfaces the grant can be changed from limited to the usual full grant of probate. Taking this route would at least mean you were moving forward. There are no guarantees but at least it doesn’t leave you totally stuck. 

    It is dreadful to have to deal with this on top of the bereavement especially with the resulting delay of being able to get some closure. 


    If you do know what the Will contained does it vary at all from what would happen under intestacy? If not then the alternative route would be to proceed with getting Letters of Administration rather than Grant of Probate. 
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