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How To Obtain A Copy Of A Will

A Will is a confidential document and the property of the person who made it (the Testator) or their estate if they are deceased (the Decedent). In situations where people keep their original Will at home and have not arranged for copies to be stored anywhere else, obtaining it can be challenging.  However the Will becomes a public document once a Grant of Probate has been obtained to administer their estate.


In order to obtain a copy Will you must complete a standing search form and send it to your local District Probate Registry (DPR) together with a cheque for £6.00 made payable to HMCS. You must make sure that the information on the form is accurate for the search to work. The DPR will then send you a copy of the Grant together with a copy of the Will.  If a Grant of Probate has not yet been obtained but is issued within the six months following the search application, the DPR will still send a copy to you. In addition, you can renew the standing search at the end of the six months by writing to the DPR quoting your standing search number and enclosing a further cheque for £6.00.


Visit to access the online facility of the National Will Register, a voluntary service launched in 2008 to enable people to search for a missing Will (although this is only of benefit if the Testator registered their Will with the service).


Alternatively, if a Lawyerr prepared the Will on behalf of the Decedent it is advisable to write to them to enquire if they hold a copy of the Will in their archives or indeed the original. However, unless you are an Executor of the Will and not automatically entitled to a copy, the Lawyers can refuse to provide you with this information.

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