Archive for January, 2015

41 million wills available to search online for the first time

The Ministry of Justice says: The government’s archive of 41 million wills dates back to 1858 and will enable people to find out more about their family histories, as well as researching the last wishes of some of the most influential people of the 19th and 20th century.

  • The Probate Service forms part of the Family Division of the High      Court. It deals with ‘non-contentious’ probate business (where there is no      dispute about the validity of a will or entitlement to take a grant), and      issues grants of representation, which are known as either:
    • Probate (when the deceased person left a       valid will and an executor is acting)
    • Letters of administration with will (when a       person has left a valid will but no executor is acting) or
    • Letters of administration (usually when there       is no valid will). The Probate Service holds all probate records issued       since it was established in 1858. It has a statutory duty to allow access       to the index of all grants issued since 1858 and provide copies of them       on payment of a statutory fee.

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For a fee of £10 anyone can now obtain a copy of a Will that has been proved at the Probate Registry or obtain a copy of a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration. This will be particularly useful to those who want to know how an estate has been dealt with and whether they were a beneficiary of a loved one’s Will or not. This is especially so when there may be cause for concern or an executor is not forth coming with information. At WE Solicitors, we get a lot of enquiries from potential beneficiaries or family members asking for advice when there is a rift in the family or the executor and beneficiaries do not see eye to eye. The first port of call would be to ask the Executor for a copy of the Will, however this search provides another option and go directly and easily to the Probate Registry  to see if a Grant has been applied for or obtain a copy of the Will. Once this has been obtained it can alleviate a potential beneficiary’s concerns or allow them to consider what options they then have if they wanted to take the matter further.

To make a search go to:

The Ministry of Justice says:  “As a result of the innovative project carried out by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and storage and information management company Iron Mountain, people will be able to connect to history from the comfort of their own home and look up the wills of people such as:

  • the mathematician Alan Turing whose life story has been told in the      film The Imitation Game
  • Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist author Charles Dickens
  • Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill
  • Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix Potter

Creating the wills archive is part of ongoing work to transform HMCTS to make it a modern, efficient, digital service which is easy for the public to access.”

At WE Solicitors LLP we can advise you as a beneficiary or an executor after obtaining a copy of a Will or a Grant, what it means to you and the options then available to you. If you cannot find a Grant it is possible that it has not yet been obtained and we can do a Standing Search on your behalf should one be applied for.

For more information contact WE Solicitors LLP, Ivy Mill Crown Street Failsworth Manchester M35 9BG


Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191


Martin Lewis has designed his six financial resolutions that if you do them now, the benefits should last throughout the year and longer.

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No 2 on the list is:

“2…Stop putting off making a will and power of attorney. If you die will-less the ‘intestacy’ rules decide where your assets go and can mean your long-term partner gets nothing. Hollie emailed me saying: “Two years on I’m dealing with the fallout from Mum not having a will. Please get one.” So consider making a will.

The gold standard is a solicitor-drafted will. To get that for free, if your diary-keeping is good (if not just pay and do it now – better that than not doing it at all), in March there’s a small Free Wills Month scheme for those aged 55 or over. Then in November there’s the UK-wide Will Aid, though it asks you to donate to charity to get one. Also many charities have free will-drafting schemes providing you leave them a bequest. Some insurance policies and unions also offer free services. If not then Which? has a will-writing service where you do it yourself and it is looked over by a solicitor for £89.

Plus one in three aged over 65 die with dementia. If you lose your faculties, then it can be a financial nightmare, as it’s a hugely difficult and expensive process for someone to take control of your finances.

Norma Desmond says: “It’s a very long, drawn out and quite intrusive process. It’s also expensive. I just wish we’d managed to get power of attorney instead, when Dad was more capable.”

If you get a power of attorney now, it’s far easier. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you lose control; you can choose that it will only kick into place if you lose your faculties.

You can do it yourself if you’re reasonably savvy and have simple circumstances or you can get it drafted by a solicitor. The Alzheimer’s Society has useful information.”

You can get a ‘gold standard’ Will drafted by WE Solicitors LLP face to face

for just

£90+ VAT or £135 + VAT for a couple (Mirror Wills)

Lasting Powers of Attorney can be

drafted, signed and registered for £450 + VAT

(not including court registration fee)

If you would like more information on Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney

Home visits available throughout the Manchester and Greater Manchester areas. Including Failsworth Oldham Bury Bolton Salford Wigan

Contact WE Solicitors

Don’t put off such an important issue.


#useaprofessional #will #lastingpowerofattorney

Telephone: 0800 294 3065