Disputes arising as a consequence of missing or lost Wills
If your charity has knowledge of or has been informed that it is the recipient of a legacy in a Will, but the Will is either missing or lost we can assist you with making investigations to locate the missing or lost Will.
We can carry out a search on the Certainty National Will Register for the missing Will to check if the missing Will was previously registered. If the search produces a positive result, it will reveal details of the solicitors or the person in possession of the Will.
If the search fails to produce the missing Will, we can assist with placing an advertisement in the Law Society’s Gazette.
We can also assist you with making enquiries to the deceased’s bank, solicitors or other parties, who might have information about the deceased’s latest Will.
If you have reasonable grounds for believing that someone has knowledge of a Will, we can make an application for that person to be examined in court in respect of the Will and/or an order that they have to lodge the Will with the court.
A copy of the missing Will may be admitted to probate as long as it has not been revoked.
In English law, there is a presumption that a Will last known to have been in the testator’s possession which cannot be found after death, has been destroyed with the intention of revoking it.
This presumption can be rebutted upon evidence that any loss or destruction of the Will was accidental and was not accompanied by any intention on the testator’s part to revoke it.
We are always happy to talk on an initial no obligation and informal basis so please email or call one of the team.