I recently had to cancel my subscription to Ancestry, as I can’t afford it at the moment. This made me look for alternative, preferably free, resources.
One of the databases I wanted to find an alternative for was the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
When googling English National Probate Calendar, the 2nd result was Wills or Administrations after 1858 – the National Archives. The webpage advised that the National Archives don’t hold these wills, but it provided a link to Finding a person’s will on the Gov. Uk website. This new page provided a link to Search online.
There are 3 collections you can search in: Wills and Probate 1996 to present, Wills and Probate 1858-1996, and Soldier’s Wills.
One drawback is that you need to have a year of death. However, once you select a year, you can then use the links to the previous or next year, so that you can browse the collection to find the entry you need. Also, once you know the details, you can order the Will. I have used the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 at ancestry for a while now, but didn’t know how to go about getting a copy of the will, and now I do. Sometimes it pays to look for free resources, as these may provide additional information that the subscription sites (such as ancestry) don’t have.