Lost Will leads to lost inheritance

Certainty National Will RegisterBy Legal Futures’ Associates Certainty the National Will Register

When someone dies, finding a Will can be complicated for the family. At an emotional time, sifting through decades of the deceased’s paperwork to understand if a Will exists and indeed, if one is found, is it the last Will? Even when a Will is found, finding where the original is held can present further challenges. These are all too common problems experienced by families following a death. A copy Will left in an envelope at home, with a law firms’ letterhead or business card to facilitate a solution to a quick and accurate reunification of family with the Will, and the holder of the original Will is not a future proofed solution.

In the below case Mrs Snape’s family had a lot to lose financially. The law firm that held the Will had closed, a copy Will could not be found and the only indication that a Will existed was based on a verbal intention.

Mrs Snape comments: “I contacted the National Will Register and conducted a Certainty Will Search to locate the Will of a family member, my husband’s cousin. Before they died, they had informed me of their intention to leave a property to members of my family in their Will. We were told which solicitors had written it but they had closed down in 1992. Without the Will the estate would be distributed as an intestacy, meaning those that I knew should inherit, would not according to the law.”

“We contacted the SRA and solicitors based in the areas where my husband’s cousin lived who all advised that we should contact the National Will Register and use their Will search facility.”

“Shortly after the Certainty Will Search we received a call from a solicitor who said that they knew my husband’s cousin and could we attend their offices and provide a death certificate and our passports. We attended the meeting with this information and following this the law firm explained that they were in possession of a Will. It was indeed the Will from 1992 written by the law firm that had closed down.”

Clive Fowler, Certainty the National Will Register Help Desk Team Leader said: “Mrs Snape conducted a Will Search Combined which checks the National Will Register and searches for Wills that have been registered and in geographically targeted areas selected by the searcher for Wills not registered. She was obviously very concerned that the lost Will would mean that their inheritance would be lost. I am pleased that she was quickly advised to contact us and we could resolve the issue speedily to prevent further distress.”

To find out how a Certainty Will Search finds unknown Wills, proves last Wills and therefore protects all involved in the distribution of an estate call 0330 100 3660 or email enquiries@certainty.co.uk for further information.

Associate News is provided by Legal Futures Associates.
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