In a recent case, a member firm in Kent conducted a Certainty Will Search despite their client having recently made a Will with them, and in doing so prevented an estate from being incorrectly administered as a more recent Will was found locally elsewhere.
The testator had written several Wills with the firm, including one only a few months before they passed, and was in fact a current conveyancing client having instructed them on the sale of her home which she was later found deceased in.
The Wills and Probate team started estate administration according to that known Will by writing to beneficiaries, however one replied to say that they were told she was leaving her entire estate to the church.
Upon learning this, a Certainty Will Search Combined was conducted and a later Will was located with a firm around 15-20 miles away that corroborated the same.
The member firm, who didn’t want to be named as the matter is still ongoing, told us how this matter has made them think more about conducting a Will Search for every probate matter: “We were surprised when a beneficiary we had contacted said that there were wishes made outside of the recently updated Will we had for the testator, and even more surprised to learn that a Will was made with another firm despite being a current conveyancing client of ours.”
“It goes to show that you can never be too careful in these matters, and we will now be conducting Certainty Will Searches as a matter of course for our probate cases in line with best practice and ensuring that all reasonable steps have been made to ascertain the most up-to-date Will.”
1 in 5 found Wills through Certainty Will Searches impacts estate administration and cases like this only further the point that it is more likely than not that people, even close family, do not know for sure whether or not the Will they know of is the last Will and Testament. Carrying out a Certainty Will Search provides both you and your clients with certainty and peace of mind.
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