The National Will Register, which is operated by Certainty and is endorsed by The Law Society of England & Wales, was set-up over a decade ago to help ensure that after a death a Will, and the last version of it, can be found. Today over 8 million Wills are now in the registration system. This means that after someone dies and before probate is granted, a Will can be located for a loved one and only by a person named in the Will (the executors and beneficiaries).
Registering a Will is a vital process that prevents families, beneficiaries and executors suffering additional stress because they either cannot find the Will, are not sure if they hold the last Will or are unaware if a Will was ever written.
Being able to locate a Will quickly after a death removes the additional emotional turmoil the family can face hunting through their loved one’s possessions. If they do find a copy of a Will, they then have to work out if it is indeed the last Will written and will need to understand where the original is stored, as the original document will be required to distribute the estate. This can be very distressing and create unnecessary uncertainty at a difficult time.
When it’s time to distribute the estate, the responsibility lies with the executor to distribute the estate correctly, a process more commonly known as ‘probate’. The executor is financially liable for any errors made during distribution It is therefore absolutely imperative that the executors can locate the Will and distribute the assets in line with the Will.
Remember, if you’ve written a Will and it cannot be found then your estate will be distributed under the rules of intestacy. Therefore posing the threat that those who you may have outlined to inherit could be left with nothing.
Find out more and register your will. You do not need a copy of your Will to register it and the register does not need to see your Will.