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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9348
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My brother has just died .I have a photocopy of his will

Resolved Question:

my brother has just died .I have a photocopy of his will leaving everything to me but cant find original will which was set up will solicitors now no longer in business. our estate was left to us by our late father and didn't include a third brother who caused lots of trouble for the family. He is now likely to contest the will. what should I do.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

How long ago was the will leaving everything to you written?

Is it likely that the 3rd brother is going to say the copy is fake?

What grounds is he likely to contest the will on?

Is it a copy of the signed will the unsigned will?

When a solicitor’s firm closes, wills and deeds go to another firm, have you contacted the successor practice?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
The will was written 1995. The photocopy i have it an exa ct copy of original showing 2 wittnesses who are now both dead. My elder brothef is asking to see will and i feel if he knows its just a copy he will contest it. I have been in touch with solicitors who took over previous one andthey have no record of it.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Also should mention the estate comprises of several properties worth around one and half million.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

Thank you.

It is possible to get a signed photocopy of a will admitted to probate but it needs a separate court application for the court to determine why there is only a photocopy and no original.

Even beneficiaries are not entitled to see the will copy or the original one if the executors don’t want to show it. The beneficiaries can get a copy from the probate registry once it is admitted to probate but that is obviously going to be sometime down the line.

Meanwhile, your solicitor may be able to blag this by simply, saying “here is a copy of the will”. Meanwhile, you would have to make the court application.

There are certain firms that specialise in this and here is one which I found on the Internet

http://www.penningtons.co.uk/expertise/solicitors-for-individuals-private-client-and-tax/contentious-probate-and-trust-disputes/lost-wills-or-codicils/

you might want to use such a firm rather than just a local high street firm particularly in view of the amount of money involved here.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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Best wishes.

FES

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