How Do I Find Out If Someone Has A Will? Where Are Wills Registered/Located?


When a loved one passes away, do you know if they had a Will? And second, do you know where to find a copy of it ? Many people – even those close to us – can be very private about their finances and personal matters. Estate Planning is indeed very personal, and often, loved ones will not communicate with those closest to them details about the location or contents of their Wills. Some people keep their original Wills at home, in a safety deposit box, or (most commonly and highly recommended) at the office of the lawyer who drafted their Will. Those are all good places to check.

To find the location of a Will, you can conduct a search the Wills Registry with Vital Statistics. We file Wills Notices. registering the location of the Will for every single Will we draft. If a Notice of the location of the Will has been filed with the Wills Registry, the search Certificate from the Registry will show the location of the original Will (for example “Pushor Mitchell LLP Wills Vault located at …. for safekeeping”.) However, while filing a Wills Notice is highly recommended, it is optional, so it’s possible the Will-maker didn’t file a Notice, or they may have later moved the will or revoked it. So, while the Wills Registry search may not always turn up the location of the Will you’re looking for, it is certainly a good place to start.

This is provided as information ONLY; it should NOT be construed as legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer to provide you with specific advice for your own situation. For more information on estate planning/incapacity planning and to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact Vanessa DeDominicis on 250-869-1140 or Vanessa practices in the area of Wills and Estates at Pushor Mitchell LLP in Kelowna.