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A Lost Will

Probate is usually a smooth process, providing there are no issues with the deceased person’s will at all. A lost will is just such a problem; losing a will can mean many years of legal wranglings, and many hundreds (even thousands) of pounds spent getting to the end of it.

A grant of probate is only issued when the original will is submitted. A copy of the original will is only accepted in the very rarest of circumstances, when the copy will can be one hundred per cent proved to be what the testator wanted. Anyone attempting to submit a copy will will also have to give reasons as to why the original will could not be found. After all, it could be that the testator revoked their will, and intended for it to be destroyed, but failed to make a new one. In this situation, the copy will does not reflect the true wishes of the deceased. Probate is only granted when it is definite that the will is correct.

If you do choose to provide a copy will when applying for the grant of probate, then anyone who might inherit under the intestacy rules (ie those who would inherit if the copy will is not deemed appropriate, or if there was no will at all) must consent to it. It may be difficult to persuade these beneficiaries to consent, however, if the copy will differs from the intestacy rules. If a person would inherit under such rules, but they were not named in the testator’s will, and only a copy of said will can be found… Well, it is certainly possible that they will not consent to the copy being used. If they do not agree, and the copy will is the only version you have, then huge conflicts can arise, which can potentially go to court, and last for many years.

Sometimes, however, a copy will is all there is, and that is what must be used. If this is the case for you, then we can help you. Simply contact us, and our many years of experience in dealing with cases such as this will ensure the smoothest possible path for you.

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