Over the last 18 months we have regularly reported on a number of the many thousands of Wills that are found following a Certainty Will Search.
These searches are implemented by solicitors who never assume that they are holding or have been presented with the last Will to distribute the estate with, nor that a Will does not exist, even if the client says a Will does not exist or that the Will they hold is the last Will written.
It is now extremely easy to check that you have the last Will by checking The National Will Register. It is also extremely simple to search for Wills that have not been registered by conducting a Certainty Will Search Combined.
Below are a few of the hundreds of comments from solicitors who have located unknown Wills using Certainty Will Search.
“Thanks to the Certainty Will Search, we were able to quickly locate the Will, which prevented the estate being intestate.”
“The case first appeared to be an intestacy matter. A 1986 Will came to light with a firm, which disclosed provisions that had been made for step-children, something that would not have been adhered to if the estate had been intestate.”
“Who is to know if a Will or later Will exists, it is quite simple these days to prove you did everything practical using a Certainty Will Search to understand if a Will exists, if you are in possession of the last written Will and even find a Will which was thought not to exist. The search was undertaken and both the client and our law firm are better protected. Not advising a client to use a Certainty Will Search is not good practice in 2018.”
“The way in which the letter was worded made me believe that the deceased had probably written a new Will after the one in question; prompting me to conduct a Will Search Combined. The search discovered a 2015 Will appointing our client as executor. As a result of the search, we won the probate work.”
“The Will appointed this firm as executor of the estate, which was valued at more than £800,000. Drafted following the passing of the husband it left everything to ten charities; many of which were dog charities.”
It is impossible to be 100% sure if you are using the very last Will to distribute the estate with. It is also impossible to know that a Will does not actually exist.
It is however possible to protect you and your client by always using a Certainty Will Search as a first step prior to distributing an estate.
It is a low cost and highly protective legally endorsed search that effectively demonstrates that the law firm and the client (executors/personal representatives) did everything they could to prove the last Will or disprove the existence of a Will.