When someone dies the questions of was a Will made and if so where is it stored inevitably arise. In many cases this gives rise to further questions, if no will can found or if there is uncertainty about whether the document has been located is the last will.

 

In one scenario Bert apparently made a Will but there is no trace of it in his papers.  If the evidence shows that the document was in his possession it will be presumed that he destroyed it with the intention of revoking it, although someone might come forward with evidence to the contrary.

Another example is where Myrtle was always talking about making a Will but no one is sure whether she ever got around to it, this would lead to a protracted search involving contacting banks and firms of solicitors who might have relevant knowledge.

Consider Douglas who died at 94.   His Will is found, he made it in 1978 and it leaves everything to his parents and a charity as substitute.    As there is no evidence that the Will was revoked it remains valid.

The circumstances described above create enormous difficulties for the relatives and dependants of the deceased.   In our view every adult should have a valid Will which is kept up to date and stored securely in place where it can be easily recovered when required.   We store many Wills (we make no charge for this) and register new wills on the National Will Register which facilitates tracing where necessary.

A final word about destroying a Will, this is an effective means of revocation if the testator is the one who carries out the destruction with intention to revoke.  However this does not have the effect of reviving a previous Will, so the person concerned will be intestate until a new Will is made.