Central Register of Wills Established in Gibraltar

21/05/2021 Samantha Grimes, Matthew Smith

On the 11th May 2021, National Registries & Companies House Gibraltar established a Central Register of Wills.

One of the most commonplace problems that presents itself in the days following someone’s death is locating the will left by the deceased. This Central Register will be useful in myriad ways, including in determining whether the deceased had a will or not, where it could be found, and – in the event there are multiple wills – determine which is the true and final version.

After the leading court case of Face v Cunningham [2020] EWHC 3119 (Ch) it was decided that the burden of proof must rest on the party propounding a Will. With the introduction of a Central Register, Wills will be easier to locate on death, thus avoiding any delay in commencing the necessary administration, and avoiding the issue of conflicting documentation.

The Central Register will offer a fireproof storage facility available in which Wills and any additional supplements to the Will (Codicils) may be stored, in strict confidence, and in accordance with the terms agreed with the person who has made the Will or given a legacy (testator).

There are three ways in which Wills or Codicils can be registered:

  1. A copy of the Will is securely kept at the Central Wills Register and the original endorsed and returned to the testator for safe keeping.
  2. The testator chooses to deposit the original with the Central Register of Wills and an endorsed copy is given to the testator.
  3. The testator can choose to register only the existence of a Will and its location without producing the Will itself.

There is never a perfect time to broach the subject of a Will, but ISOLAS LLP can help to make the process smoother.

Whether you’re local or a foreign national, our experienced legal team will guide you through the process of drawing up and executing a Will, and advise you on how to best protect your assets.

In addition, we specialise in the administration of estates, assisting Executors/Administrators in the settling of debts and liabilities before the distribution of estate.

For more information or guidance regarding Wills and probate, contact Samantha at Samantha.Grimes@isolas.gi or Matthew Smith at Matthew.Smith@isolas.gi.

Guidance notes relating to the Central Register of Wills can be found here


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