How Can You Find Out if Someone Has a Will and How to Get a Copy Online

February 28, 2024 |

Following the death of a loved one, finding out if they have a Will may not be your first priority. Understandably, this isn’t likely to be your initial reaction to such sad news.

However, the importance of a Will cannot be downplayed, especially when it comes to the immediate family of the deceased. In this article, we’ll discuss various ways in which you can find out if someone has made a Will, including how you can get a copy online in the UK.

What is a Will and Why Are They Important?

A Will is a legal document stating who you would to deal with the administration of your estate when you pass away. It also says how you would like your assets (money, property etc.) to be distributed and who to. Having a valid Will in place enables your Executors (the people you trust to carry out your Will) to fulfill your wishes.

A Will is extremely beneficial to your family and loved ones as a valid Will is legally binding, meaning that whatever you leave to certain individuals must be given to them by the Executors dealing with the estate. When someone dies without a Will, it is called dying intestate. When a person dies intestate, the rules of intestacy apply. If the deceased dies with no children, then their entire estate passes to their surviving spouse.

However, if the deceased dies leaving a surviving spouse and children then the surviving spouse receives the first £322,000 of the estate along with the deceased’s personal possessions. Anything that’s left after the £322,000 is then divided 50% to the surviving spouse and the remaining 50% equally between the children. If the deceased was not married or in a civil partnership and was cohabiting with their partner, the partner will not receive anything from the estate.

Things become much more complicated if you die without a Will, again highlighting the importance of writing one. The Wills, Trusts & Probate team at PM Law are always on hand to discuss your Will requirements with you.

How Can You Find Out if Someone Has a Will After Their Death?

There are a few ways you can find out if someone has a Will – we will discuss all options available in this section. It it important to note, however, that some of the options can be more successful than others but often come at a cost.

Here are a few places you can find an original Will:

At home

The words needle and haystack come to mind, but it is worth searching the home of the deceased if possible. The original Will may be filed away with other important documents, but you might also find associated documents that could lead you to where the Will can be located.

With the bank

It is possible the original Will could be with the deceased’s solicitors as they’re likely to be the ones who helped write the Will. In many cases, a solicitor stores the original Will on behalf of the deceased so contacting solicitors in the area the deceased lived could uncover the Wills location.

How to Get a Copy of a Will Online in The UK?

Certainty National Will Register

If a Will exists, then you may be able to locate the solicitors who drafted and stored the Will online by using the National Will Register. To carry out a search for a Will in this way you will need to input details about the deceased, some details about yourself and the reason why you are conducting the search in the first place.

One thing to bear in mind is the cost associated with a search like this. You could be paying over £50 for the search alone, and it is not guaranteed that you will locate the missing Will.

However, only executors, after providing identification and a death certificate, can obtain a deceased’s Will.

Other Ways to Find Out if Someone Has a Will

If you are a beneficiary names in the deceased’s Will, the executor will contact you when they are ready to administer the estate. This will indicate that a Will exists.

Additionally, when the Grant of Probate has been obtained, the Will becomes a public document and anyone can access a copy of the Will online by applying to the official Probate Registry.

Wills Specialists at PM Law

If you need help with any of the legal aspects of writing or preparing a Will, contact our specialist team at PM Law. Our team can also assist with the probate process and estate administration – we are to help bring you peace of mind.

Contact our Wills, Trusts and Probate team directly by calling 03300 562181 or emailing the team at

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Simon Turton

Simon is an experienced specialist in Employment Law, working mostly with employees on matters such as significant Unfair Dismissal claims, Discrimination, Whistleblowing, Settlement Agreements and more.