Tollers regularly work with their local council to act as a Deputy for those who have lost capacity and are unable to handle their own affairs. The firm conduct a Certainty Will Search in Court of Protection matters to ensure that they have located the last valid Will of P to establish their past and present wishes and feelings to ensure that they are acting in their best interest. Tonina Ashby, Partner & Head of Elderly and Vulnerable Client Unit at Tollers explains a recent case where the firm conducted a Certainty Will Search and an unknown Will was located.
Tonina comments: “The firm were appointed as a Deputy for P by the local council who we work closely with on a regular basis as we have a court appointed Panel Deputy at the firm. The paperwork that we were provided with indicated that there was no Will. In our role as Professional Deputies, we need to establish the existence of a Will to provide certainty of end of life wishes for P and also to establish the ultimate destination of their assets. This enables the Deputy to ensure that specifically gifted legacies, for example, are not sold. Therefore, conducting a Certainty Will Search will ensure that myself and the firm have done everything possible to locate a Will.”
Tonina conducted a Certainty Will Search which searches for Wills that have been registered on The National Will Register and for Wills that have not yet been registered. A 1995 Will was located at a local law firm.
Tonina continues: “The Certainty Will Search was able to locate a Will at a legal firm close to our offices. Often when you are approached by the council to act as a Deputy for somebody who has lost capacity, you are not given a great deal of detail of their affairs as P is often unable to supply their financial and legal information to the council. Therefore, it is important as a Deputy to establish P’s wishes so that we can always act in their best interests. By locating their Will, this greatly assists in such matters. A Certainty Will Search is invaluable and ensures that we can easily locate any previous Wills to help fulfil our duties as Deputies, particularly for Statutory Will applications where this is expected.”