How do you know if a will exists? And is it the right one?
A frequent problem following the death of a loved one is determining whether they have made a will and, if so, where is it stored? There may also be some doubt as to whether a will is the most up-to-date version. This is particularly common amongst some elderly citizens who traditionally have always kept their affairs private, even from their close family.
If you have made a will but it cannot be located after your death, you will be deemed to have died intestate (without a will) and your assets will, therefore, be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules. This, of course, may not be how you would wish.
To remedy this problem, Certainty the National Will Register was established. Now, after making a will, it can be registered on a national database so if there are any doubts about the existence or validity of a will it can be easily located.
At GA Solicitors we can assist you in undertaking a Certainty will search, where millions of wills have now been registered. A search can also be undertaken for wills which have not been registered.
Certainty confirms that one in every ten searches results in either a will being found where it was assumed there was not one, or a newer will discovered which supersedes the one thought to be the most recent.
A Certainty will search is also a useful tool for the executor or administrator charged with administering an estate. It is their legal duty to distribute the deceased’s assets as per their will and they can be held financially responsible for any mistakes which would be considered as a breach of duty.
If you are reading this article and feeling concerned about the privacy of your will, do not worry. Certainty does not hold or display any information regarding the details contained in your will. It stores only your name and details of where your will can be located. Your will remains in the safe care of your solicitor.
You may be surprised to know that two thirds of people in the UK do not have a will. Many people think that by making a will they are signifying the end of their lives when in fact they are securing the clarity of their estate for the future.
Creating a will is generally a quick and easy process. Most of us need only a straightforward will that is not expensive, and we would be happy to discuss your requirements with you. You may find that having a will may save your family thousands of pounds, and it will almost certainly save a lot of time, hassle and stress.
Claire Warner, Associate Legal Executive