IWC makes tracing Wills and obtaining probate records easy, you can order records online and benefit from the wealth of exciting information to be found in the will of a relative or perhaps an ancestor. Provide us with the name, date of birth and date of death of the person whose will or probate records you would like to obtain and we'll conduct the genealogy research on your behalf.
Our trace a will service will search the probate archive records and provide you with a copy of any will or letters of administration for a fixed fee of just £49 plus VAT. The information can be sent to you via email or sent by special delivery post, usually within seven working days.
Enter as much information as you can and let IWC do the rest.
Wills and Genealogy Research
Wills contain lots of vital genealogical information, offering important clues and providing new avenues for research. The most obvious of which being the bequests, these may list the names of the deceased's wife, children and other family members. Finding wills is helpful to confirm these relationships and that the beneficiaries were still alive at the time of writing.
Probate archives from 1858 onwards contain far more information than the death register. This can include addresses, clues to their occupation, property owned and evidence of family members who immigrated.
Probate records are very personal in nature and finding wills offers a rare opportunity to actually 'hear' the words of your ancestor. In most cases, a will is the only written record that will have been left by our ancestors (even though it may have been written by a solicitor).
Information you May Discover by Tracing Wills
Use probate specialists IWC for locating wills and for a low-cost, one off fee you can have all this information at your fingertips.
Note - This service is not designed to search for missing wills. If you need to search for a missing Will please contact us on 0800 612 6105.
Advice for Reading Wills
As with the census, be careful not to interpret terms such as cousin, in-law, niece, step or half the way we would today as relationship terms have differed throughout the ages.
It was quite common for men to gift their legacy during their lifetime, particularly in the case of eldest sons. If you see that someone has inherited just 1 shilling, don't assume that this person was an outcast. It probably signifies that he/she has already received their inheritance.
Don't make similar assumptions when you see bequests have been made of bed linen or brass wear. At the time these were valuable items. You may find names of many household items and tools that you don't understand or recognise, this is all part of the fun!
What happens if my Ancestor did not Leave a Will?
In the event that no will was left, the next of kin would have applied for a grant of Letters of Administration (Admon) to take control of the deceased estate. These were obtained from the court or registry. Don't be disappointed if your search does not uncover a copy of the will. Probate registry documents should still contain: