Finding a Will: my uncle has recently died and I do not know if he left a will. I am the only surviving blood relative, and I was under the impression I would benefit. My uncles stepfamily do not communicate with me. Can you direct me to where I can find his Will or a copy of it?
How to go about finding a Will.
There is no easy way of finding out if a Will was made, until probate has been granted I am afraid. Probate will not always be needed, in which case you may well be left in the dark unless whoever did benefit is willing to disclose. Quite valuable estates often are passed on entirely through joint ownership automatically becoming sole ownership by the survivor (on production of the death certificate.)
It has to be said that thousands of people are accidentally disinherited by folk who do not keep an eye on their Legal Planning. Especially where there have been previous marriages and more than one set of children, it is actually NORMAL for one set to end up being disinherited and everything passing down the other bloodline. This is easily planned for in advance (contact us) but causes much bitterness and often Court action when the planning is badly thought through or non-existent.
If your uncle was married, his spouse is first in line to inherit even if there is not a Will.
Some suggestion on finding a Will are here.
However, you will not necessarily have any right to see it until (and if) probate is granted, at
which point anyone can buy a copy from here.
Details of the Rules of Intestacy which dictate who will inherit if there is no valid Last Will and testament are here.
I do hope that helps. I would add that there are some circumstances where you might be able to take steps to obtain a share of the estate. Typical ones might be:
- The person who died supported you financially.
- They had promised that you would inherit and in return, you had (for example) worked for them free of charge. or in some other way disadvantaged yourself.
- You were treated as a child of theirs and supported.
This is a complex area, and most such claims are fairly pointless, but we do offer a relatively inexpensive review to see if there are sufficient grounds to consider a claim.