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How Do You Find Out if Someone Has a Will?


If you’re acting as the executor of a will, you may need to know whether there is one in place. Similarly, if you’re due to benefit from a will, but haven’t been contacted about this, then it’s also possible that there might be one. However, there are some other reasons why you may want to find out if someone has made their last wishes clear in writing:

How do you find out if someone has a will?

Generally speaking, you find out if someone has a will if you’re a named executor who would be responsible for sourcing the original copy of the will. As executor, you’re the only person with a legal entitlement to view the will prior to probate being issued. With that said, in many cases, the contents of the will are shared by those implicated in the will, such as beneficiaries.

When probate is granted on a will, a copy is stored online through the Probate Service, where anyone can view the will in full. For more information follow the link:

Search probate records for documents and wills (England and Wales) – GOV.UK (

Who is the executor of a will?

The executor of a will is the person responsible for ensuring that it’s instructions are carried out. In most cases, this is someone chosen by the deceased before their death. An executor can be nominated in a will or be appointed by the court if there was no nomination made.

The beneficiaries are those named within a will who are mentioned as inheriting property or possessions from their benefactor; or if there is no will, who under the rules of intestacy have a right to inherit (which is usually the spouse and/or nearest living blood relative). For more information on the rules of intestacy please visit:

Intestacy – who inherits if someone dies without a will? – GOV.UK (

It is possible to bring a claim for financial provision even where one is not named in a will or where there is no will and the rules of intestacy do not apply because one is not a family member. This is particularly so for individuals who may have been financially dependent on the deceased. He or she can make an application for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

What Is Reasonable Financial Provision – Will Claim Solicitors

When can you view the full content of a will?

There are a few instances where you might be able to view the full contents of the will before probate, such as:

• If you are named in a will, you can view the full content of it.

• If you are a beneficiary of a will, you can view the full content of the will.

• If you have been named as an executor of someone’s estate on their death, then you can also view the full content of their estate


If you’re due to benefit from a will and haven’t been contacted, you can find out if there is one by contacting the probate registry.

Search probate records for documents and wills (England and Wales) (

If someone you know has died and there isn’t any mention of them in the will, then it may be worth checking with the probate registry that no legal documents have been filed

The probate registry can also tell you who has been appointed as executor of an estate or administrator of their affairs – this would be someone who needs to manage any assets until they are passed onto beneficiaries after probate has been granted.