The National Will Register

23 March, 2018 10:49:06

Will Writer Checks for Non-SRA Regulated Organisations

Checking whether a will writer of a non-SRA regulated organisation is holding a will for the estate that you are about to distribute can now be done via a Certainty search.

When you use a combined Certainty will search, you can now include a sunshine and laptopsearch of will writers from both the Institute of Professional Will Writers (IPW) and the Society of Will Writers (SWW).

So, why is this important?
These are two key organisations that aren’t regulated by the SRA, but which are responsible for the majority of wills written by will writers in the UK.

The SWW has 1,700 members throughout the UK, ranging from small to large organisations, and write about 200,000 wills per year. The IPW is also a large national organisation, with hundreds of members responsible for writing a significant volume of wills each year across their membership base.

The feedback from law firms regarding this enhancement to their will search service has been positive. Preventing the distribution of an estate where a will was deemed not to exist, but was actually held by a will writer, or where a will writer wrote a will that revoked the will being used to distribute the estate by the solicitor, could potentially be far more problematic to resolve than if this unknown will was held by another solicitor.

Since the will writers search capability was added to the Certainty will search, it has prevented exactly this from happening; solicitors have searched and found a will believed not to have existed, or a later will held by the will writer.

By way of an example, 46 wills that were written and held at one IPW will writing organisation have been identified by searches where the searcher was a solicitor dealing with the estate distribution. Fortunately in these cases, the solicitors involved did a Certainty will search and discovered these unknown wills. The majority of these searches were implemented purely as a precautionary measure.

How does it work?
A Certainty combined will search performs a register will search, and also searches nationally in geographically targeted areas for wills that have not been registered by solicitors, and now will writers.

This additional search capability should provide further peace of mind and protection, and is an allowable disbursement from the estate of £95 +VAT.

Original article published by: The Gazette
Date: Thursday 15th February 2018
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