When is an executor entitled to the original will of a deceased client?

My firm drafted and holds the will of a recently deceased client. When is an executor named in a will entitled to the original will?

A valid will speaks from the date of death.

In other words, an executor's powers arise from the will and not from the grant of probate.

Therefore, a sole executor – or, where there is more than one executor, all executors jointly – is entitled to the original will from the date of death, subject to adequate verification of identity.

However, if there is no will, any administrator entitled to take a grant of representation will obtain the power to administer the estate on the making of the grant of probate.

For more information, see the Probate Practitioner's Handbook (8th edition).


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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