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Advice Of Lost Will

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bongoboy | 11:13 Tue 10th Mar 2020 | Law
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My mother died 5 months ago and my sister asked me to sort probate, we only have a copy of the will. The will was kept at a solicitors which closed down and we have found out that it has been sent to 4 other solicitors all of which have been shut down. We were told to contact CLC and wasted 8 weeks for them to tell us it probably is with the SRA. We filled all forms in and sent ID over 7 weeks ago to the SRA and were told it takes 6-8 weeks, I have phoned today and have been told they cannot give a timescale and to ring again in two weeks as the solicitors files are being indexed and they might not even have the will or finish indexing.

Can we do anything to move things along as its been 5 months since her death we are having huge bills (council tax and utilities) which me and my sister are having trouble paying and after all this they may not even have the will. All we want to do is start probate and move things along

As far as i know unless the will is declared lost we cant start probate.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Have you tried the government's probate helpline 0300 303 0648?

It might be possible to proceed as if there isn't a will. You know your mum's wishes from the copy of the will.
Question Author
thank you carrot, i phoned them before contacting the SRA and they said i have to have a letter confirming they have not got the will if i am to proceed with probate without one.
We were pressured into paying some bills such as overpaid pension before probate came through. You should resist paying the council tax and utility- just say that as executors you will let them know once the will is found and probate resolved. You are not obliged to pay any such bills yourself yet.
In the scheme of things a 5 month delay is not as bad as it sounds- it can often take 12 months or so to sort out an estate
If you have a copy of the will does it match the normal rules of intestacy? If so just proceed as if no will .
You can prove a copy of a lost Will but I suppose until the SRA have finished you don't know if it's lost!

You are not obliged to pay anything yourself. However you can get a limited Grant if you need to protect assets in a case of urgency.
Question Author
thank you barmaid and fiction just have to wait for SRA to try to find it
thanks barmaid
that is helpful

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