News & Insights

When does a Will become a public document?

A Will becomes a public document if after your death, your Estate requires ‘Probate’.

The term probate is the legal process of dealing with an estate. A Grant of Probate is required before the estate can be dealt with. Organisations in which assets are held will want to see the Grant of Probate in order to allow the Executors to sell or transfer the assets.

Your Will and the documents required to obtain a Grant of Probate are sent to the Probate Registry and this is where your Will is made a public document.

If your estate is worth very little and probate is not required, your Will remains a private document and only those named as Executors and Beneficiaries will be privy to its contents.

You are therefore able to request a copy of someone’s Will if it has gone through probate via the government website. There is a fee of £10.00.

If you wish to discuss making a Will or require assistance in obtaining a Grant of Probate, please contact Ann Coutts on 020 8502 3991 for more information.