When an original signed Will has been lost or destroyed?


Where a deceased's original will cannot be found or is damaged or destroyed, the executor or, if none, the person entitled under rule 20 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 (SI 1987/2024) (NCPR 1987) may present a copy will or draft will with their grant application.

The applicant must apply to a district judge or registrar for an order under rule 54(1) of the NCPR 1987 to prove the copy or draft of the missing or destroyed will.

The application is made in the form of an affidavit that provides, for example:

·Evidence that the will existed after the deceased's death.

·Evidence that the will was correctly executed.

·Confirmation of the accuracy of the photocopy, draft or any other form of document recording the deceased's testamentary directions.

For this reason we recommend that you use our in-house witnessing service so that the execution of your Will can be documented and recorded so that going forwards if you should lose your Will not only do we have an electronic unsigned copy for use but can provide an affidavit for each of the above.

Using our storage facility will also prevent the loss of your original executed Will.