The government has cut the price of ordering copies of probate records to £1.50 from £10.

The documents, which reveal information such as the beneficiaries of a will, can be requested online via the Find a Will service.

The price reduction apples to post-1857 probate records and was introduced in a statutory instrument that became law on 22 July. It is scheduled to be in place for the next 12 months, after which further price changes may be implemented.

The Find a Will service allows people to search English and Welsh probate records from 1858 by surname and year of death. They can then request a copy of the documents.

In addition to providing information regarding beneficiaries, the records can provide insights into a relative’s life through details of their estate, address and occupation.

The civil Court of Probate for England and Wales was set up in 1857, operating in conjunction with local registries across the country. Prior to this probate had fallen under the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts overseen by the Church of England.