Obtaining the Will
The will of the deceased should be located as soon as possible after his or her death. It may provide directions regarding the testator’s funeral but more importantly it will generally identify the executor. It thereby establishes the person in whom the deceased’s estate is initially vested and by whom the various estate’s administration functions will be performed. Often the solicitor or the bankers of the testator hold the will in safe custody.
A direction in the will appointing a particular solicitor or firm of solicitors to act in that capacity or as the estate’s solicitor is not binding on the executor.
Where the will is not already held in safe custody by the solicitor so instructed, arrangements must be made to obtain possession of it. A request in writing signed by the executor and directed to the party holding the will is normally required before the will is released. Occasionally evidence of the death of the testator may also be required.