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Royal Family: Wills

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) if he will publish sealed Royal Wills in cases where such Wills were sealed prior to 1990. (249315)

(2) if he will review his policy on the practice of allowing Royal wills to be sealed.

The power to seal and unseal all Wills is exercised by the court. The decision whether or not to permit inspection of a Will of a senior member of the Royal Family that has been sealed by the court is a matter for the President of the Family Division upon application.

The President is currently considering setting up a committee to review the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987, which will include consideration of the current rules relating to the inspection and/or publication of Wills. The power to make new rules is vested in the President with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor.