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JustAnswerKM
JustAnswerKM, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Court of Protection, civil litigation, divorce and inheritance
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We have recently lost a cousin who as far as we can ascertain

Customer Question

We have recently lost a cousin who as far as we can ascertain did not leave a will. However, anything is possible and he may have written one with out telling his next of kin (also possible in his declining years) where he had placed it. Could you please tell me if there is a time limit on the production of a will following a person's death - is it in months, years etc?
many thanks
Bob
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JustAnswerKM replied 9 months ago.
Dear Bob I am sorry to hear of your loss. I will do my best to help. Have you searched for the Will using search agents such as 'Certainty' or the official register on the www.gov.uk website? There is no guarantee that you will find the Will because your brother may not have registered it with the probate registrar but it's worth a try. Ask Solicitors local to where your cousin lived.On to your question, there is no time limit on the production of a Will following a person's death. So long as the Will is valid (in writing, executed by your Cousin correctly and is witnessed by 2 independent people) and preferably the original version, you can start the process of probate should you need to. However in that time, if someone applies to be the personal representative of your cousin's estate and applies for the grant of probate and begins the distribution process, the person that finds a Will, may not be able to do anything. The personal representative cannot be personally liable if they follow the correct procedure (i.e. wait 6 months from the day the grant is issued before distributing the estate). Essentially time limits will only apply if someone starts the probate process. The time taken to finalise an estate depends on the size of the estate. If there are assets to be sold, this will typically delay the process. I hope that helps. Kind regards Krystel
Expert:  JustAnswerKM replied 9 months ago.
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