Why are testamentary records held in the National Archives?
The National Archives is responsible for the permanent preservation of records of state, including court records.
Wills and other testamentary material, such as schedules of assets and grants of probate, are records created by the Probate Office. The Probate Office forms part of the High Court, which means testamentary material is subject to the terms of the National Archives Act, 1986.
National Archives holds wills that are at least 20 years old. The latest year held by the National Archives is 1991 for the Probate Office. For anything more recent, or for grants issued in District registries in 1991, queries should be directed to the Probate Office.
Detailed information about using testamentary material for archival research is available in Guide to Testamentary Records.