It is not uncommon for firms to close down and for others to inherit their Will Bank. Although their clients’ Wills have been safely moved and stored, often the Testators who wrote the Will are unaware that their Will has been moved which can lead to complications in locating the Will after they have passed away.
Nicola Combe, a Will writer and member of The Society of Will Writers who runs her own firm Morecambe Bay Wills and Estates Limited recently encountered this problem when a member of the public contacted her looking for her grandmother’s Will.
Nicola comments: “I recently received a call from the granddaughter of the deceased who was searching for her grandmother’s Will. Her and her mother were aware that she had previously written a Will but they did not know where it had been stored.”
“Due to her grandmother passing away during the Covid-19 pandemic, they were unable to make the journey from their home in Oldham to Morecambe where her grandmother lived to check if she had a copy of her Will in her paperwork. They had asked a neighbour to enter her grandmother’s home to check but they were unable to locate anything. This had left her having to call solicitors and Will writers in the local area to find out if they had her grandmother’s Will. After she explained that she had spoken to seven other firms with no prevail, I suggested that she should contact The National Will Register to conduct a Certainty Will Search.”
The member of the public took Nicola’s advice and conducted a Certainty Will Search.
Nicola continues: “Later that day after suggesting a Certainty Will Search should be conducted, she called back to confirm that the Will search had located her grandmother’s Will. The law firm who were holding the Will had contacted her. The law firm who had originally written the Will was no longer practicing and had merged with another law firm, inheriting their Will bank.”
“As a Will writer and member of The Society of Will Writers, I store my clients’ Wills with The National Will Archive which registers all of them on The National Will Register. My clients receive a certificate of registration to store with their documents which eliminates the risk that their Will cannot be located in the future. It’s an important and very valuable service and gives my clients peace of mind.”