Registering your clients’ Wills on The National Will Register ensures that they can be easily located once the testator has passed away, protecting the estate from being distributed incorrectly by unknowingly using a revoked Will or as intestate because it was believed a Will did not exist.
Will Registration also maximises your probate income by allowing your firm to intercept the probate work when you are identified as the holder of the Will of the deceased. There is a common problem where law firms lose probate work simply because the Will was not registered and the bereaved were unaware of the Will’s location or that a Will did indeed exist. Wills are located following Certainty Will Searches every day that on the face of it were believed not to exist or supersede the Will that was presented to the solicitor by their client.
In a survey conducted by The National Will Register, 91% of law firm’s clients register their Wills when asked, ensuring that they can be found and therefore helping to secure future probate work for the firm.
Taylor Haldane Barlex are members of The National Will Register who registered their existing Will Bank on The National Will Register when they joined and continue to register all of the Wills they write at the firm. Carly Dartnell, Associate Solicitor and Head of Private Client comments: “When we joined The National Will Register as members at the start of 2019, we understood the importance of ensuring all of our existing Wills held at the firm were easy to locate in the future. This was easily achieved by registering our Will Bank on The National Will Register as it ensured that we will be notified when a client has passed away and that their Will is being searched for. The team at The National Will Register made this process straightforward by providing guidance on the registration process and answered any question we had. Will Registration is now part of our Will writing process and all of the Wills we write are registered on The National Will Register on a monthly basis to ensure that no Will is missed.”
Carly continues: “We decided to register our Will Bank and continue to register our clients’ Wills for a number of reasons. The National Will Register is a trusted partner of The Law Society of England and Wales, this provides reassurance to myself and the firm that we are conducting best practice and following guidance. It also ensures that all of our Wills held at our several offices located in Essex, East Anglia, Suffolk and Norfolk are registered in one place, making it easier for families who are searching for a loved ones Will to have a starting point for launching a search to save them (and us as professionals) time such as contacting local solicitors that the deceased may have used.”
“The National Will Register also offers fantastic marketing capabilities and opportunities that as a firm we can use to reignite and retain clients whilst driving our revenue and best practice. We are able to access letter templates to send to our clients about their Will Registration and can send, via our TOUCH account, Will review reminders to our clients every three to five years to review their Will, helping to retain our clients and also increase our client care package.”
Carly concludes: “We conduct Certainty Will Search on most of our cases as part of the estate distribution process. It is good to know that a deceased’s wishes are being followed and especially in the case of an intestacy it is good to have the peace of mind that all has been done to locate the Will.”
Will Registration has ensured that law firms who register their Will Bank with The National Will Register receive more probate work. The highest reported amount of additional probate work received, due to Wills being registered by a single firm, was 86 probates. The firm stated that if their Wills had not been registered, then they would not have won the probate work (in the majority of cases, they would not have known their clients had died!).