Missing Will, terminal illness

My mum was taken in to hospital a few week back and a couple of days later her house broken into and the safe stolen containing her Will. We decided not to tell her about the break in straight away as we didn't want her to worry and concentrate on getting better and back home. Last week the, long term diagnosis was given as terminal, and she has now detreated to the point she may only have days left. Me and my siblings don't want to her to have to know about the break in and loss of sentimental property, however we are equally concerned as we want her last wishes carried out as she detailed in the will. Is there a way to find out if a copy of the will exists of if its held with a bank or solicitor. I did think we maybe able to access it from her email, but we're not sure. Also are these will search companies any good are they likely to find anything if we pay the search fees or are they just a ripoff? 
«1

Comments

  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,973
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Name Dropper
    Forumite
    I think you're going to have to ask her, perhaps ask which solicitors drafted it, on a pre-text of using them to manage things...
  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 1,299
    First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    You should inform her. Perhaps arrange for a solicitor to attend the hospital with you and allow her to redraft her will. 
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,400
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    You're not going to be able to (legitimately) find out anything about her Will while she's still alive, without involving her. Safest option is going to be for her to make a new one, assuming she's mentally capable of doing so.
  • poppystar
    poppystar Posts: 1,261
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Is it likely that the Will would differ from what would happen under intestacy? Are there specific items that she might have wanted to go to friends? You will need to decide if it’s worth the potential upset now or whether you could be content with the intestate distribution and making your own minds up if there were other people who might welcome some personal items that you and your siblings could agree on. Also it’s so awful that this burglary has happened at this time but don’t let it take all your time and energy away from your last days or weeks with your mother or from taking good care of yourselves at this difficult time. You may be able to trace a Will with a solicitor but maybe leave that until the time comes.
  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 1,299
    First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 3 December 2023 at 6:59PM
    A further thought. How can an insurance claim be made for items stolen during the burglary and the damage caused? If she isn't informed. Asked rhetorically but what else did the safe contain. A will is replicable other items not. 
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,239
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Unfortunately if the will was drafted by a solicitor some years age they will almost certainly not longer hold a copy of it. If you have a good idea of how she would have wanted certain items distributed you can simply do that if all the beneficiaries are happy to do so. 
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,400
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Unfortunately if the will was drafted by a solicitor some years age they will almost certainly not longer hold a copy of it.
    It's possible they won't have it, but we have no idea how long ago it was made, and many firms will hold records for far longer than they're strictly required to (especially these days when they can be stored as a fairly trivial amount of data).

    If you're certain that all the beneficiaries have been covered and are consenting then it's fine but it sounds like the OP doesn't know what the Will said - I wouldn't fancy risking going down the "administer as intestate" route (and declaring that there was never a Will) and then somebody rocks up waving a copy of a Will...
  • km1500
    km1500 Posts: 2,120
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 3 December 2023 at 9:16PM
    Crazy idea I know but you could consider telling her the truth.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,838
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Forumite
    Was it definitely the original will in the safe, or just a copy? (Parents had a copy at home, but the originals were with the solicitors who drafted them.)

    If the original was in the safe, is it possible that anyone has a copy? (There is a procedure for proving a copy, if there's good evidence for it being a true copy, eg solicitors should have original but can't find it and someone has a copy with dates corresponding to when there were dealings with the solicitors.)

    Do you have any idea what it said? If you do, and all adult beneficiaries are in agreement, you can agree to deal with intestacy but change the distribution, either with a Deed of Variation or informally. (Note minors can't be varied out of anything...)
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,039
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Forumite
    When we made a will earlier this year to my complete surprise, the solicitor sent us the wills for us to sign and get witnessed. Even if you knew which solicitor we'd used he wouldn't have a valid one to show for this very reason.

    I believe you can register your will but I should imagine that a 3rd party asking for details  when the person is still alive wouldn't be able to - you might hit across the same issue even if you find the solicitor involved.

    Are you aware of the wills contents and how much does that deviate from what will happen if your Mum dies in effect without one? If you and siblings inherit would a DOV just be possible to carry through Mum's wishes.

    Failing that I can only re-iterate another suggestion to get a solicitor to come and see Mum and make one now - assuming she is still able to do so. . 
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.9K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.2K Spending & Discounts
  • 234K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards