Certainty Will Search

  • £105 + VAT
  • Search 10M+ Records
  • Piece of mind
  • Accessible and convenient
Certainty Will Search

What's on this page

On this page you will find a lot of useful information to help you arrange a Certainty Will Search in the UK.

You can click on any of the items in 'Contents' to jump to the section that interests you.


About Certainty Will Searches

Insuristic has partnered with Inheritance Data to provide a Certainty Will Search for our clients and website visitors. Insuristic does not receive any commission for this, it is just a service to help you.

What is a Certainty Will Search

Since 2006, The National Will Register continues to grow with over 10 million Wills in the system, the number of which grows daily. At peak times, one Will is registered every two seconds.

The National Will Register has grown from Certainty to become the trademarked National Will Register for the UK providing Will Registration and Will Search services to the public and profession.

In 2021, The National Will Register became part of Advanced, a leading provider of solutions for the legal market.

About a Certainty Will Search

A Certainty Will Search is proven to reduce the risk of distributing an estate during probate on an assumed intestacy basis or when a Will or later Will may exist.

There are many reasons why a Will may have been forgotten about, maliciously destroyed, or where an unknown later copy exists.


Why buy a Certainty Will Search?

In the aftermath of a loved one's passing, the task of handling their estate often falls upon executors, who are tasked with ensuring the deceased's final wishes are carried out as intended.

A crucial step in this process is conducting a Certainty Will Search, a comprehensive procedure that helps locate any existing Wills, including those that may not be registered.

Understanding Certainty Will Searches

A Certainty Will Search is a thorough investigation that aims to identify all potential Wills made by the deceased.

It involves searching both national and local records, including the National Will Register, which holds over 10 million registered Wills.

Additionally, it delves into geographically targeted areas to uncover Wills that may not have been registered.

Benefits of Certainty Will Searches for Executors

Conducting a Certainty Will Search offers several significant benefits for executors, ensuring they make informed decisions regarding the distribution of the deceased's estate.

These benefits include:

  1. Enacting the Deceased's Wishes: Locating a Will allows executors to adhere to the deceased's specific wishes regarding the distribution of their assets and belongings. This ensures that the estate is handled in accordance with the deceased's intentions, providing peace of mind for family members.

  2. Avoiding Legal Disputes: Without a Will, the distribution of the estate follows intestacy laws, which may not align with the deceased's intentions. A Will serves as a legal document that clearly outlines the distribution of assets, minimizing the risk of disputes among beneficiaries.

  3. Protecting Beneficiaries: A Will can safeguard the interests of beneficiaries, especially minors or those with disabilities. It can establish guardians for children and set up trusts to protect their inheritance.

  4. Streamlining Estate Administration: Locating a Will can simplify the probate process, as executors have clear instructions on how to distribute assets. This can save time and resources, making the process less burdensome for executors and beneficiaries.

  5. Ensuring Tax Compliance: Wills often contain tax planning strategies that can minimize the tax burden on the estate. Identifying a Will ensures that executors are aware of these strategies and can implement them effectively.

The Significance of Certainty Will Searches in Mitigating Executor Liability

The potential for personal financial liability underscores the critical role of executors and personal representatives in meticulously handling the estate administration process.

Any actions or omissions that result in losses to the estate, impacting one or more beneficiaries, could expose executors to personal liability, even if the losses stem from genuine mistakes.

Therefore, as an initial step in estate distribution, conducting a Certainty Will Search using The National Will Register is of paramount importance.

This comprehensive search demonstrates proactive measures taken to ascertain the existence of any Wills, even if the deceased's Will-making history is uncertain.

By verifying the authenticity and validity of the Will in use, executors can ensure they are adhering to the deceased's most recent and binding testamentary wishes.

The Certainty Will Search Information Guide serves as an invaluable resource, providing executors with a detailed understanding of the rationale and procedures involved in verifying the absence of unrevealed Wills.

By proactively undertaking this crucial step, executors can effectively minimize the risk of personal liability, ensure the deceased's wishes are upheld, and streamline the estate administration process with unwavering confidence.

When to Conduct a Certainty Will Search

A Certainty Will Search is recommended in various situations, including:

  1. Upon the Death of a Loved One: Executors should initiate a Certainty Will Search as soon as possible after the deceased's passing to ensure a timely and accurate distribution of the estate.

  2. When the Deceased Moved Frequently: If the deceased lived in multiple locations throughout their lifetime, a Certainty Will Search can uncover Wills made in different jurisdictions.

  3. When the Deceased Had Complex Financial Affairs: If the deceased had significant assets, investments, or business interests, a thorough Will search is crucial to identify all relevant documents.

  4. If You Unsure If a Will Exists: Even if you are unsure whether the deceased created a Will, a Certainty Will Search can provide definitive answers.

Certainty Will Searches play a vital role in ensuring the deceased's final wishes are honored and their estate is distributed according to their intentions.

For executors, conducting a Certainty Will Search is a responsible and proactive step that can prevent legal disputes, protect beneficiaries, and streamline the estate administration process.

By taking this step, executors can fulfill their duties with confidence, ensuring the deceased's legacy is respected and their wishes are carried out faithfully.

What other Asset Searches might an Executor need to purchase?

Will Search: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I insure against the risk of a Will being discovered after the estate has been distributed?

Yes you can and it is a sensible purchase.  Approximately 20% of people with a Will have updated it at some point, so you never know if the version you have is the latest.

If you believe there is no Will and the estate is being administered as Intestate, there is of course always the possibility that Will can be found.

If the Estate has already been distributed and a newer Will is found, in the absence of Insurance it can be very problematic. 

To start with, their could be a legal challenge from the beneficiaries listed in the newer Will.  Which will result in legal costs (payable by the previous executors and beneficiaries) and if their claim is successful the previous beneficiaries may need to repay all or some of their inheritance.

So as you can imagine, these claims can be large, with serious financial consequences for the previous executors, personal representatives and beneficiaries.

For peace of mind, it is therefore advisable to buy a Missing Will Insurance Policy.  The cost is a one off purchase that will provide insurance protection in these circumstances.  The cover never expires either.

How can I find out if a Will exists?

There are several ways to find out if a Will exists in the UK:

  • The National Will Register: This holds over 10 million registered Wills and offers a Certainty Will Search. This comprehensive search checks both national and local records, increasing the chances of finding any existing Wills.
  • Probate Records: Once probate is granted, a Will becomes a public document. You can search for probate records by the deceased's name and year of death on the government website https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/.
  • Solicitor or Bank: If the deceased used a solicitor for their Will, they might have a record of it. Some banks also hold Wills for their customers.
  • Contact Family and Friends: Sometimes, family members or close friends know where the Will is kept.

How do you find out if a deceased person has left a will?

The methods mentioned above can help you determine if a deceased person left a Will. If you're still unsure, consider contacting the executor named in the death notice or searching the National Will Register.

What if I can't find the original will?

If you can't find the original Will, you can still apply for a copy from the Probate Registry once probate is granted. You can also try searching the National Will Register or contacting the solicitor or bank that might hold it.

You can do this with Inheritance via their secure portal for £105 + VAT.

How do I get a copy of a Will?

Once you know a Will exists, you can apply for a copy from the Probate Registry. You can do this online or by post. It costs £10 to apply.

How much does it cost to search for a Will?

  • National Will Register Certainty Will Search: Costs vary depending on the level of service, starting from £35.
  • Probate Records Search: £1.50 for online search, £3 for standing search (where you're notified within 6 months if a Will is granted).

Can you look for someone's Will online in the UK?

Yes, you can search for a Will online on the National Will Register and the government website for probate records.

Are UK Wills held on a database?

Yes, the National Will Register is a massive database containing over 10 million registered Wills. However, not all Wills are registered, so using other methods mentioned above is crucial for a thorough search.

How do I find where a Will is stored?

If you know a Will exists, finding its location depends on who holds it. It could be held by the executors, solicitors, banks, or the Probate Registry once probate is granted.

Do Solicitors keep a record of Wills and how long do they keep them?

Solicitors are not legally obliged to keep Wills indefinitely. Most will keep them for several years after the client's death, but they can eventually be destroyed. Always clarify with the solicitor about their record-keeping policies before assuming they hold the Will.

Related Probate Insurance Pages

About the Author

Rob Faulkner CEO of Insuristic

Hi, I'm Rob, CEO and Founder of Insuristic. My mission is to make insurance easier to understand and buy online.

I hold an Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII) which demonstrates I have a solid technical understanding of Insurance and have committed to continuous professional development. I am also a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and hold the a Chartered Insurance Broker status.

Over the last 27 years, I have worked for insurers, insurance brokers and insurance technology businesses, specialising in product, sales and marketing.

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