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Legal & money

Missing will

(9 Posts)
kittylester Thu 30-Jun-22 12:06:15

DH's brother is probably going into residential care and his wife has dementia.

His children are trying to help get things in order but no-one has any idea where their wills are. They were lodged with a solicitor who is no longer in practice. Not sure what happened to the clients of the original practice after it closed.

Anyone know where they might be now?

Grandmabatty Thu 30-Jun-22 12:07:11

The Law Society might be able to help.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 30-Jun-22 13:07:34

Another firm will have taken over the practice and custody of all documents held. All known clients should have been notified at the time. The Law Society should be able to help.

kittylester Thu 30-Jun-22 13:22:26

Thank you GSD.

kittylester Thu 30-Jun-22 14:03:06

Oh, crikey,thank you gbatty too. Don't know how I missed you. Sorry!!

grandtanteJE65 Thu 30-Jun-22 14:15:18

Have the family tried asking their parents' bank whether there is a bank box in either's name?

Where are other documents, such as deeds to the house?

If the father has no recollection of where he lodged his will when his solicitor either sent it back or notified him who was taking over the firm's business, I am much afraid I would start by checking every single cupboard, box, book-case and every other "safe place" in the parents' home.

sharon103 Thu 30-Jun-22 14:35:55

I made a will with a solicitor years ago and this year was going to update it. I rang their number only to find that another solicitors office had taken over, with the same phone number. My will had been transferred to them and at a different address. I knew nothing about it.
What I'm trying to say is, if you have the telephone number of the solicitors they dealt with that are no longer serving, ring that number and you may find that another firm has taken over and has the original will.
Hope that makes sense.
Another way to find out who has the will is to get their own solicitor who can do a search. Should cost £100 + .
I know this because my brother died last year, didn't leave a will but my solicitor did a search just to check

welbeck Thu 30-Jun-22 16:36:24

i think the system with wills in this country is open to abuse.
the is a registry where you can lodge wills, i know because i did it some years ago, it was in somerset house then. but this is voluntary. although when checking for a will, this would be checked first.
i think it ought to be law for wills to be valid that they are lodged in an official office, with copies elsewhere as desired of course.
there could be exceptions for very recently made wills, but it ought to be the norm for them to be lodge within say a week of being made.
people can make their own wills, which are effective if properly witnessed.
so imagine if mr smith makes a will, without solicitor, properly witnessed, and keeps it in his bedside cabinet.
it leave everything to mrs jones down the road who has helped him in his final years.
he is single, no children. wider family ignored him.
he dies and in walks nephew, goes through house, finds will and burns it.
then claims estate.

Grammaretto Thu 30-Jun-22 16:48:00

My DH never left a will but, in Scotland at least, his estate automatically goes to his widow - another good reason to be married.
I have made a will and arranged POA for when I'm incapable.
The deeds of my house, on the other hand, seem to have been lost.
Our solicitor was swallowed by another who was taken over by yet another. Their archives have been searched to no avail.
I can only think they were sent to us and we've lost them.