The National Will Register


Certainty Will Search - Searching for a Will

Certainty Will Search is endorsed and recommended by the legal and Will writing profession.

As an Executor or Administrator you have the legal authority, responsibility and duty to distribute the deceased’s estate correctly and could be held financially responsible for any mistakes made through any breach of duty.

To help avoid issues arising later in the process of distributing an estate during probate, it is important to identify whether a Will exists and who holds the most up-to-date version before any work is undertaken.

To help confirm the existence of a Will or prove the Will you hold, the Law Society recommend using Certainty the National Will Register to search nationally for registered and unregistered Wills.

As a legally endorsed and recognised best practice, Certainty Will Search offers great protection should a disgruntled beneficiary come forward after the estate has been distributed, and acts as proof that reasonable steps were taken to search for a Will or later Will before proceeding with distribution.

What Does a Certainty Will Search Do?

Certainty searches for Wills – whether you are checking to see if one was made or checking to see if you have the most up-to-date version. Certainty is more than just a register - we make it easy for you to search for a Will, even if it has not been registered. This is because we search for Wills kept by solicitors and Will Writers across the country, and search areas where the person who wrote the Will lived, worked or had other connections, hence the reason for making a Will elsewhere.

Certainty Will Search searches Certainty the National Will Register, accessing circa 8.4 million Will registrations, but also searches nationally for Wills that have not been registered by solicitors and Will Writers. In addition, a notification is placed on the Certainty Missing Will Notice Board which is accessed daily by 4,500 Certainty member solicitors.

The cost of the search is an allowable disbursement that can be reclaimed from the estate.

Certainty Will Searches are available at the following rates and can be carried out by any interested party:

Which Certainty Will Search Should I Use?

Unless you have found a Certainty Will Registration Certificate then we recommend that you use the Will Search Combined.

What Happens Next?

  • Your search should take around 5 minutes to complete
  • Retain your receipt to claim the search fee back from the estate
  • Your search will be processed immediately
  • Certainty does not contact you regarding the existence of a Will. The professional (solicitor, Will Writer, Bank etc) holding information relating to the deceased will contact you directly
  • Prior to disclosing the existence of a Will they will ask you to provide the death certificate (or copy) and proof of your identity
  • Usually you will receive a reply to your Will Search sometime between 24 working hours and 10 days (when something is discovered). However, please note that searches do run for 28 days and if no Will is found then Certainty will provide you with a report signifying completion of the search

Please do not hesitate to contact the Will Search team via the 'Leave a Message' button, 'Helpline Number' or 'Live Chat'. The team are here to help!