The wills of George Orwell, Charles Dickens, Sir Winston Churchill and millions more are now available online after the creation of a new government database.
Willis from England and Wales and dating back to 1858 will be available to download online for the fee of £10.
And the construction of the database means that the archive, which contains 41million documents, can be used to trace ancestry or to view the wills of famous people such as Princess Diana or Alan Turing.
‘For many wills, someone still has to locate the physical copy in the warehouse, scan it and send it off,’ said the BBC’s Nick Higham.
‘They’ve taken on extra staff, but admit that no-one’s ever made such a large database of documents available to order online and it’s hard to predict demand for the service.’
A name and year of death is required to find a will, which will be ready for download within 10 days of order.