It is not always possible to know when your client has passed away which raises the risk that the Will that you hold for them may be overlooked and their estate distributed incorrectly.
In the below case study, Louise Salisbury, Partner at AST Hampsons explains how a Certainty Will Search helped notify the firm that their client had passed away and subsequently prevented their estate being distributed as an intestacy and the firm winning the probate work.
Louise comments: “When the deceased passed away at home on their own, the council searched the property and couldn’t find a Will in their paperwork. They therefore passed the matter over to the coroner believing that the deceased had died intestate.”
“As there was no immediate family, the law firm that had been appointed to distribute the estate contacted a genealogist firm to trace members of the family so that the estate could be distributed in line with the intestacy rules. As a precaution, the law firm also conducted a Certainty Will Search to ensure that no Will existed.”
The law firm conducted a Will Search Combined that searches for Wills that have been registered on The National Will Register and for Wills that have not been registered. The Will search located a Will at AST Hampsons.
Louise continues: “We received a Will search notification that a law firm were searching for a Will of the deceased. After checking our records, we were able to confirm that we held a Will that appointed AST Hampsons as the Executors of the estate. The Will left everything to a sole charity beneficiary.”
“We were unaware that the testator of the Will had passed away. By receiving notification from the Certainty Will Search, we were able to win the probate work that may have otherwise been lost. The genealogist firm that were working with the searching solicitors had already traced family members of the deceased so without the Certainty Will Search, the estate would have been distributed incorrectly and to beneficiaries that the deceased may not have even known.”