We are seeing a significant increase in the number of enquiries to locate missing Wills, in life, for non-deceased Testators. We are therefore very pleased to have been invited to contribute a short article on this month’s issue of the Mental Capacity Report.
Attorneys and deputies have a duty to act in the ‘best interests’ of the donor or patient which includes taking into account the person’s ‘past and present wishes and feelings’, and any relevant written statement made by that person when they had capacity. As former Senior Judge Lush has said “I can think of no written statement that is more relevant or more important than a Will” in determining a person’s wishes and wishes for purposes of s.4(6) MCA 2005 (Re Treadwell decd  WTLR 1445).
The need to locate the Will for a person who lacks capacity* or has a poor memory**, and is therefore finding it difficult to remember where their Will is located, means The National Will Register is becoming an integral service for purposes such as these. Put simply, the social, demographic and economic challenges we face today, have significantly impacted the increasing need both to register and search for Wills on The National Will Register.
The Compendium February 2020 Issue 101 available online at https://www.mentalcapacitylawandpolicy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Mental-Capacity-Report-February-2020-Compendium-Screen-Friendly.pdf published by 39 Essex Chambers.
*There are approximately 3.9m LPA and Deputyships in existence (source: Annual Report and Accounts Office of Public Guardian 2018/2019). **There are currently 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia. In the next decade this is predicted to rise to 1million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051 – (source Alzheimer’s Society 2019).