Millions Of Wills Made Publicly Available Online

Wills Of Princess Diana, Winston Churchill And George Orwell Among Millions Available For Small Fee

24.04.2015

Over 40 million wills, including many of notable celebrities and public figures, have been made available to view online for a small fee.

The wills catalogued online are stored at Birmingham secure storage facility Iron Mountain, run by owner Qadir Ahmed. The documents were previously available for view, but a request had to be made via post or at a local Registry Office.

"A lot of the public are not aware these are public records," said Mr Ahmed. "Once someone goes through probate, that's it. It's a simple process, through the gov.uk website.

"You can pay a small fee of £10 and order a record of anyone who's gone through probate, searching by the person's name and year of death."

Notable wills made available include Princess Diana, who left £50,000 to former butler Paul Burrell, with the majority of her estate divided between her two sons.

George Orwell, on the other hand, used his will to leave strict instructions that no memorial service be held and no biography be written following his death.

Expert Opinion
The launch of this service not only allows people to investigate the final wishes of famous names from history, but also puts a spotlight on how important the preparation of a will can be.

"With this platform putting the issue into focus, we hope that it will go some way to encouraging many people to getting their own will in place at the earliest opportunity. This is a major issue as our own research has shown 60 per cent of people have not taken this step.

"Putting a will in place ensures that your assets are divided in the manner you wish and failing to do so can leave family and friends in a difficult situation. The nature of our work means we have seen numerous cases when families have been torn apart by emotionally draining and time-consuming disputes regarding inheritance and the efforts of individuals to gain access to what they deserve.

"This is why we always encourage anyone who is thinking of the future to not only prepare a will, but sit down with loved ones to discuss the decisions they have made and the reasons behind them. This should go some way to preventing people from facing difficult court battles after a loved one passes away."
Gillian Coverley, Partner