Certainty Will Search: Protect yourself, your firm and your client from future claims against the estate


Marta Espiga, Solicitor, Sharmans Law LLP

Sharmans Law LLP have been providing legal services in Bedfordshire for over 200 years and have been members of The National Will Register since 2014. The firm have incorporated Will Registration into their Will writing process and always advise their clients of the benefits of registering their Will on The National Will Register, one of which is ensuring that the location of where their last valid Will is stored can be easily located once they have passed away.

The firm also incorporate Certainty Will Search into their internal estate distribution process, advising clients to conduct a Certainty Will Search as a matter of course to prove that they are in possession of the last valid Will of the deceased and always when they are appointed at a professional executor.

Marta Espiga, Solicitor, Sharmans Law LLP explains why the firm always conduct a Certainty Will Search when they are appointed as a professional executor.

Marta comments: “In this particular case, the nephew of the deceased held a copy of a Will dated from November 2016 that appointed him and the partners of the firm as executors of the estate. The nephew came to our office with the copy to notify us of the testator’s death, believing it to be the last valid Will of the deceased.”

“Although we were holding a Will dated from November 2016, we couldn’t rely that we were holding the last valid Will of the deceased and it is imperative that we make sure that we are proving the last Will of the deceased when applying for probate. Therefore, we conducted a Certainty Will Search.”

Marta conducted a Will Search Combined that searches for Wills that have been registered on The National Will Register (circa 8.7 million Wills in the system) and for Wills that have not been registered.

Marta concludes: “We always conduct a Certainty Will Search when the partners are appointed executors regardless whether there are co-executors. We need to be certain that we are distributing the estate in accordance with the last Will to avoid risks of claims against the estate. In this case, the Will that we were holding was in fact the last Will. It allowed us to feel confident that we had done everything possible to ensure we had located the last valid Will of the deceased before applying for a Grant of Probate.”

For further information on the type of searches you can carry out, please contact The National Will Register on 0330 100 3660 or email enquiries@certainty.co.uk.


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