A Certainty Will Search can change how an estate is distributed by locating a Will that has been forgotten about, lost or was previously unknown. The below case study demonstrates how a Certainty Will Search can prevent incorrect estate distribution.
Probate & Estate Administration Ltd. were working on a case where the deceased was believed to have died intestate. They had traced the next-in-line to inherit under the Rules of Intestacy which was a distant first cousin once removed. As a safeguard, Alex Clayton, Company Secretary, Probate & Estate Administration Ltd., conducted a Certainty Will Search which checks to see if a Will has been registered on The National Will Register and also nationally with solicitors and Will writers for Wills they have written but not registered, to help ensure an unknown Will did not exist for the deceased.
Alex comments: “The Certainty Will Search located a Will that the deceased had written in 1989, which was shortly after her husband and mother had passed away. Locating the Will changed the way that the estate was to be distributed.”
“The Will identified four animal charities and various disability charities that the deceased’s money should be distributed to. The Will also stated various personal possessions that were to be gifted to her husband’s nephew and her daughter who had sadly pre-deceased her in the 1990’s. Finally, there were various paintings that were gifted to close friends or donated to local museums.”
The Will named the deceased’s husband’s nephew and his wife as the Executors of the estate. As the Will had been written over thirty years ago, the Executors had since moved house and Alex needed to locate them. After they were located, Probate & Estate Administration Ltd. were able to hand the case over to them to distribute the estate.
Alex continues: “Although this was a reasonably small estate of £12,000, locating the Will of the deceased changed the way in which the estate was to be distributed. It has ensured that the beneficiaries that the deceased had wished to inherit from her estate did, opposed to a distant cousin she may have never met or even heard of!”
“Conducting a Certainty Will Search also protected us from distributing the estate incorrectly as it had been previously believed there was no Will. Assuming that you either have the last Will or that there is no Will is a risk and we conduct a Certainty Will Search on the majority of cases that we work on so that we can eliminate the risk of a Will, or later Will, coming to light after distributing an estate.”