Cuttle & Co Solicitors have been members of The National Will Register for more than a year and have incorporated Will Registration and Certainty Will Search into their internal processes. The firm pride themselves on their caring and empathetic nature. They always put the interest of their clients at the heart of everything they do.
In this case study Steve Durham, Partner at the firm, discusses a recent matter that the firm assisted in where the deceased, who had been diagnosed with dementia, claimed that he had made a Will that cut his wife out.
Steve comments: “We were originally contacted by the stepson of the deceased to make a Lasting Power of Attorney for him as he had started to develop dementia. Unfortunately, when we went to visit the deceased it was decided that he lacked the mental capacity to write one. Therefore, we advised the family that they would need to apply for a Deputyship Order in the Court of Protection and that they would need to decide who was best placed to act as a deputy.”
“Whilst the family made this decision, the deceased’s condition got worse and he began to become violent. He was therefore moved into a nursing home and was diagnosed with dementia. After he became violent in the nursing home, he was admitted into the hospital. Sadly, whilst there, he passed away.”
“After he passed away, the family were aware of a Will that the deceased had made at Cuttle & Co Solicitors a significant time ago. He had written a later codicil that left 1% of his estate to a named charity, two gifts, and the remainder of the significant estate to his wife. Throughout this distressing time before his death, the deceased claimed that he had made a new Will that cut his wife out and left her nothing. This was very distressing for her as they had been married for a long time and if he had made a new Will, she was not sure that he had the capacity to do so.”
“The older Will appointed the deceased’s brother as the executor of the estate but due to health problems, he renounced his executorship and his other brother became the executor. He appointed the firm to assist with probate.”
“We advised that a Certainty Will Search should be conducted to ensure that there was no later Will. The Certainty Will Search located the registered Will that we were in possession of and no later Will was found, therefore confirming that it was the last Will of the deceased. This brought relief to the deceased’s wife and family after a very distressing period. Following her husband’s death, his wife wrote a new Will with the firm.”
“At Cuttle & Co Solicitors, we register every Will that we write on The National Will Register and advise that a Certainty Will Search should be conducted on every instruction. This case demonstrates one of the many reasons why The National Will Register can assist those in need. By conducting the Certainty Will Search, it provided reassurance to the family that everything had been done to locate a later Will and they could proceed with applying for a Grant of Probate. In addition, it provided a safeguarding measure for the firm by being able to demonstrate due diligence when acting on behalf of the executor of the estate.”