A Certainty Will Search is used by members of the public and professionals every day as a safeguarding measure to ensure that that the last Will of the deceased is located and their estate can therefore be distributed correctly. The National Will Register assists in ensuring that everything has been done to locate the last Will of the deceased.
In this case study, Sarah Gill, Paralegal at Cullimore Dutton explains a recent case where the firm conducted a Certainty Will Search to ensure that they were distributing an estate correctly. Sarah comments: “When the deceased passed away, one of her sons who lived abroad notified the firm. The family was aware that the deceased had written a Will with the firm in 2018 and that due to both of her sons living abroad, had appointed the firm as the executor of the estate.”
“The deceased was divorced and had lived on her own for many years. The estate was worth £350,000 which included a property that needed to be sold. Although the Will was only made three years before the deceased passed away, as a professional it is not worth the risk of a later unknown Will coming to light after the estate has been distributed so we advised that a Will search should be conducted. A Certainty Will Search is recognised as an adequate search to prove that you have done everything you can to locate any later Wills.”
Sarah conducted a Will Search Combined that searches for Wills that have been registered on The National Will Register and for Wills that have not yet been registered.
Sarah continues: “The Certainty Will Search confirmed that we were in possession of the last Will of the deceased. We were therefore able to obtain a Grant of Probate and proceed with distributing the estate to the named beneficiaries in the Will.”
“At Cullimore Dutton, we have incorporated Will Registration into our internal estate planning process and always advise that a Certainty Will Search is conducted when we are acting as a Professional Executor or when an estate is intestate. This not only protects the executors but also the beneficiaries of an estate.”