Standing Search For A Will – A Guide

Standing Search For A Will

Used when a Will has not been probated yet, and you want to make sure you find the details out as soon as probate is granted.  If you are simply making a search for a Will because it can’t be found, click this link.

Information should be available in leaflet How to enter a standing search ,

What is one?

A standing search for wills entitles you to a copy of the grant of representation and the will (if a grant is applied for – otherwise the Probate Registry would have no knowledge of the Will).

A standing search for a Will has two functions:

  • The standing search for a Will application remains in force for six months. A continuous search is made for six months from the date the standing search for a Will was set up (i.e. the date the search commenced). Should a grant of representation be issued during that period, the applicant (i.e. the person entering the standing search for a Will) will automatically be sent a copy of the grant through the post.
  • A search is made of the grants of representation which were issued in the twelve months before the standing search for a Will was entered. If a grant was issued during that twelve month period you should be sent a copy through the post within 4 weeks of the request. Please note that records of grants issued over twelve months ago are not searched. The search applies to England and Wales only (Scotland has its own jurisdiction).

For most purposes a general search for a Will is more suitable than a standing search. However, a standing search for a Will can be useful if:

  • You have already carried out a general search which has shown that no grant of representation has been issued but you believe that a grant will issue in the next six months.
  • The date of death is recent.
  • You need to know that a grant has issued e.g. if you intend to make a claim against the estate.

How do I enter a standing search for a Will?

In order to enter a standing search you must supply the following details in writing:

  • Full names of the deceased (forenames & surname) including any names by which the deceased was known and the name in which the death was registered. e.g. John Phillip Smith, John Philip Smith or John Smith.
  • Last permanent address.
  • Date of birth.
  • Date of death or a range of dates if the exact date is not known to you.
  • You must also give your name and address.

Further information is available within leaflet – How to enter a standing search.

You must give the Probate Registry with the full and correct details for the deceased. The search is made by checking the detail you have provided against the Probate Registry records. If you give incorrect details your search is unlikely to be successful.

When applying please mention that you are applying for a standing search or a general search will be carried out.

Either deliver the completed information by hand to your local Probate Registry or send it in together with the fee of £10 (as at October 2016) to either:

a) Principal Registry of the Family Division

First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn

or b) Any District Probate Registry or Probate Sub Registry.

Cheques/postal orders should be made payable to “HM Courts and Tribunals Service”  (Cheques presented in person must be supported by a guarantee card).

What happens next?

You will receive written confirmation that the standing search has been entered. That letter will give you the reference number allocated to your standing search which must be quoted on all correspondence.

Provided that you have given the full and correct details of the deceased should a grant issue before your standing search expires you will be sent a copy through the post.

What if I do not receive a copy of a grant through the post?

If you do not receive a copy of a grant of representation through the post it means that no grant has been issued which corresponds to the details you have provided.

What should I do if I find I have given the wrong details?

Inform the Registry at which you entered your standing search in writing as soon as possible, providing them with the correct details.

Can I renew my standing search?

Yes. The search can be renewed within the last (i.e. sixth) month, e.g. if your search commenced on the 1st January it would expire on the 1st July. It can be renewed from the 2nd June to the 30th June.

To renew the search, write to the registry where the search was set up quoting the standing search number and the name of the deceased. Either send the letter or deliver it by hand to the registry where you entered your standing search. You must also enclose the renewal fee of £6. If you are applying by post make sure that you have left enough time for it to be renewed before the expiry date.

If your standing search has expired you will need to enter a new standing search, filling out a new form. A new reference number will be given.

standing search for a will

Standing Search For A Will