How Do You Know If Someone Has a Will?

When a person passes away, their estate – which includes their money, property, and possessions – is usually distributed according to their will. If the deceased did not leave a will, their estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. In either case, it is important to know whether or not the deceased had a will. In this article, we will explore how do you know if someone has a will in the UK.

How do you know if someone has a will?

The following steps will help you determine if someone has an existing will:

Check the Deceased’s Paperwork

The first place to start is to look through the deceased’s paperwork. This could include bank statements, correspondence, and any files or folders that they kept. A will is a legal document, so it is likely to be stored with other important documents. Look for a file that is labelled ‘will’ or ‘last will and testament’. If you find a will, make sure to keep it safe as it will be needed to distribute the deceased’s estate.

Contact the Deceased’s Solicitor

If you are unable to find a will amongst the deceased’s paperwork, you should consider contacting their solicitor. The deceased may have used a solicitor to draft their will and the solicitor may have a copy on file. You can search for the solicitor’s details amongst the deceased’s paperwork or contact the Law Society to find a solicitor who may have been involved in the drafting of the will.

Search the Probate Registry

The Probate Registry is a government agency that deals with the administration of estates. They maintain a register of all wills that have been registered in the UK since 1858. If the deceased registered their will with the Probate Registry, it will be available for public inspection. You can search for a will at any of the Probate Registries throughout the UK. There is a small fee for this service.

Check With the National Will Register

The National Will Register is a service that allows people to register their wills in a central database. This makes it easier for executors to locate a will when the time comes. If the deceased registered their will with the National Will Register, you can search the database to find out if they had a will. There is a fee for this service.

Place a Statutory Advertisement

If you have tried all the above methods and have been unable to locate a will, you can place a statutory advertisement. This is an advertisement that is placed in a newspaper, inviting anyone who may have a claim against the deceased’s estate to come forward. The advertisement also asks if anyone knows of the existence of a will. This is a legal requirement and must be done before the estate can be distributed.


Learning how do you know if someone has a will in the UK requires a bit of detective work. You should start by looking through the deceased’s paperwork, contacting their solicitor, and searching the Probate Registry and National Will Register. If all else fails, you can place a statutory advertisement. It is important to remember that a will is a legal document and must be treated with care and respect. If you do find a will, make sure to keep it safe and seek professional advice on how to administer the estate.

If you need help finding out if someone close to you has a will in place, or if you feel that you should have received something from a will but haven’t, get in touch with our team at Will Claim for a free claim assessment today.