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Search for a Will.

Search for a Will with The National Will Register to check if a Will was made or confirm you have the most up-to-date version to correctly administer an estate.

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Certainty Will Search Process

  1. elderly couple walking away

    Certainty Will Search Starts

    Upon successful completion of the form online, the Certainty Will Search starts.

  2. touching a tree

    Positive Match is Made

    If there is a positive match as a result of a search of The National Will Register or the wider REACH Search of unregistered Wills in geographically targeted areas, the law firm or Will writing organisation are notified and provided with the contact details of the person searching for the Will.

  3. grandparents and grandchildren

    Searcher Provides Documentation to Custodian

    The person searching for the Will is to provide documentation such as proof of ID and a Death Certificate to the organisation holding the Will.

  4. grandparents and grandchildren holding hands

    Positive Match is Confirmed

    If conditions are met to disclose the existence of the Will, the custodian shall arrange for the Will to be repatriated with the searcher.

  5. Multi-generational family

    Certainty Will Search Report Issued

    Upon conclusion, a Will Search Report is issued with the outcome of your Certainty Will Search to demonstrate this step taken in the estate administration process.

What is a Certainty Will Search?

Certainty Will Search searches The National Will Register, accessing over 10 million Wills in the system, and also in geographically targeted areas for Wills that have not been registered.

When is a Certainty Will Search used?

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 probate work is undertaken.

Why is it important to search for a Will?

To check there is no Will before proceeding with an intestacy. To check the Will held is the latest Will and has not been superseded. To proceed with confidence in the correct administration of an estate. To find a lost Will.

What are the risks of not searching?

Potential incorrectly distributed estate. Personal Representatives (an executor or administrator) have the legal authority and responsibility to distribute the estate correctly. They will be held liable should a later Will come to light after the estate has been distributed.



How a Certainty Will Search helped me

Although leading up to her death he assisted his mother with her affairs, she was private.

Certainty Will Search assists son to locate his mother’s unknown Will at local solicitor firm.

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How a Certainty Will Search helps

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Will Searches for the Legal Profession


Will Search Protect

A convenient way to carry out a Will Search and other items that may be required when distributing an estate. It performs a Will Search Combined, places a Section 27 Notice and obtains a quote for Missing Will/Trustee Indemnity Insurance.

(Inc VAT)

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Frequently Asked Questions

The National Will Register Search searches for a Will that has been registered by either the Testator (person whose Will it is), or the firm which prepared the Will. Wills are registered all over the UK, therefore the search of The National Will Register is nationwide.

However, if the Will was not registered and you have conducted a Will Search Combined, The Will Search searches for a Will that has not been registered in up to three geographically targeted areas in the UK where the Testator used to live or work.

Current estimates report nearly half of the UK population have yet to make a Will, therefore it is possible that one isn’t found because it didn’t exist. However, if one was made The National Will Register provides a thorough service to trace a missing, unknown or later Will. The steps taken for this service are outlined under the service description. By conducting a Certainty Will Search, you are actively checking to ensure that if a Will is found, the deceased’s final wishes are rightly being fulfilled.

Having a Certainty Will Search Report on file following the Search demonstrates the steps you have taken to establish if a Will or later Will exists using a recommended service.

The price for a Certainty Will Search is also an allowable disbursement of an estate, meaning the cost can be reclaimed back from the estate before distribution.

Before probate, the Last Will and Testament is a confidential document. Only the Testator (the person whose Will it is) the Executors (the individuals responsible for the distributing the estate to beneficiaries) and the Custodian (the solicitor or Will writer who drafted the Will) know its contents.

When a Will is registered with The National Will Register, only the basic details of the Testator are recorded and where the original Will is safely stored. The National Will Register therefore does not see or store the contents of the Will.

The National Will Register records the existence of a Will. When a person dies, their latest Will needs to be searched for and found to ensure their final wishes are fulfilled and their estate is administered correctly. A Certainty Will Search is a necessary step to establish if a Will or later Will exists for the person who has passed away before proceeding with probate.

When a Will is used in probate for the distribution of an estate, it becomes a public document. The Will used in probate is then sent to The Probate Registry. You can search and pay a fee to view the publicly made Will.

Issues can however arise if the Will used in probate is not the latest Will indicating the estate may have been distributed incorrectly. A Certainty Will Search will help to mitigate against this.

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