Lost Will.

On more frequent occasions than one might imagine the situation of a lost will arises. The document that is normally used to obtain a Grant of Probate is the original signed and witnessed document however it is possible in certain circumstances for a probate solicitor to prove a copy of a lost will. The reasons for missing wills are many and various, it may be that an original is lodged with an unknown solicitor or is in a bank vault. There are occasions where the testator may have physically destroyed the original with the intention of revoking it or a disgruntled relative who came upon the will first may have destroyed it in the hope that an earlier more favourable will can take precedence or that the intestacy rules will put them in a more advantageous position than the destroyed will.


A lost will can lead to difficult events because depending on which copy is deemed to be the right and valid one, certain beneficiaries may then lose out. For example, the deceased might have made a will and then changed it for some reason, cutting out some of the people who would have benefited from the first one.


Now let us suppose that a later original will goes missing. The executor may try to prove that the second will was the valid one by obtaining probate on a copy, but those people who were cut out in that second will would want to prove the opposite by obtaining probate based on the first will.


In order to prove a copy of a lost will in the Probate Registry it will be necessary to produce evidence that shows that the will was not deliberately destroyed by the testator. A recent successful claim to prove a copy was successful as the original was last in the hands of a solicitor following which it was lost in the post. These cut and dried cases are rare and a potential executor should not expect proof of a copy to be an easy or straight forward task.

Invalid Wills

Even if a lost will is found, or a copy is proved there are many reasons why a will could be stated to be invalid. If you do want to contest a will for some reason, you have to do it within a certain period of time. It’s no good turning round years after the event and deciding to do it then, as it will be far too late! The rule is to seek help from a solicitor as quickly as possible to see whether you have a case for contesting the will.


Most people who contest a will do so because they feel they should have benefited from it and yet they weren’t included. Some have more chance of succeeding than others; dependants of the deceased in particular have a good chance of claiming some of the estate.


If there is any cause to believe that the will was not made properly or the testator did not understand what they were doing at the time of making it, then there could be a case for contesting it in a court of law.

No Win No Fee Solicitors

Our solicitors have extensive experience in proving lost will claims and of contesting claims to prove a copy. There may be many different reasons for contesting, but regardless of what the reason might be you can rest assured that our experts can advise you on your own particular situation. All you need to do is pick up the phone or send the online form or email our offices with your contact details.