Increasingly the use of Certainty Will Search prior to distributing an estate is proving to provide unparalleled protection from unknown Wills, executors and beneficiaries.
Certainty Will Search is now widely used by the legal profession, Government agencies, charities, genealogists, the public and other associated sectors and organisations as the first step when distributing an estate.
Below outlines a case where the Government Legal Department’s Bona Vacantia Division placed a deceased estate on the BVD Unclaimed Estates List believing that a Will did not exist; or did it?
Fortunately Alexandra Clayton of Probate & Estate Administration Ltd ensured that she did all she could to make sure that the estate was distributed correctly. Alexandra explains: “The case in question was with the Treasury solicitor as no next-of-kin could be located. We managed to locate a relative who would benefit under the rules of intestacy, and as part of our standard research process we conducted a Certainty Will Search, to ensure that all reasonable steps had been taken to prove there was no Will. To our surprise, Certainty managed to locate a Will with a solicitor local to the deceased’s last known address, dated 1990, appointing that firm as the executors of her Will. The estate was worth £25,000 and had been left to charity. This case has reinforced to us why conducting a Certainty Will Search is so important, and to conduct one as early as possible. Although some time and money had been spent, we were glad that the estate was distributed correctly. We would rather spend £90 for a Certainty Will Search, than risk distributing £25,000 incorrectly.”
It is not uncommon for Wills to be found using a Certainty Will Search for estates that appear on the BVD Unclaimed Estates List. One of the largest estates to date involved in a Certainty Will Search find that totalled £200,000. As in the above case, this estate would also have been distributed to a distant relative but the testator had again left their entire estate to a charity.
The Will search used in the above case was Certainty Will Search Combined. This search checks the Certainty National Will Register and checks nationally for Wills that have not been registered.
….Real life Will search stories from the legal profession…