We hear of the benefit of making a Will. But we also need to be aware of keeping the original in a safe place. It is also a good idea to keep a copy elsewhere just in case.
By registering your Will free of charge with The UK Wills Register, you remove the risk of someone else not knowing where the Will is, or even someone forgetting where you once told them it was. If you move the location of the Will, you tell us, and we maintain a confidential record….. but it’s always IN THE NEWS
One young lady tells the story of her mother who recently died. She left her Will with her solicitor. She continues: “We are now being told that they cannot find it……”
The solicitors had amalgamated with another firm and in the course of so doing, the Will somehow went missing. This is a disaster but a disaster that is one of many.
We have read an article in the Law Society Gazette where the write has said:
“Initially I assumed that, because a Will is such an important legal document, when one is made, it must be registered somewhere. But I found out, that is not the case…”
The consequences of not being able to locate a Will are serious, time-consuming and distressing. Yes a copy Will can be produced, but this means additional costs and needless heartache.
The Honourable Justice Tom Gray gave a lecture on the subject back in 2012 when he posed the question: Do you know the location of your parents’ original Wills? He knew the answer as it has been previously researched. The fact is that two-thirds of people surveyed in the UK had no idea where to find their parents’ Wills. This is living proof of the importance of registering your Will to inform your nearest and dearest where the Will is kept. In keeping in touch with you, we ensure that this is under review on an annual basis.
The Citizens Advice Bureau is rightly anxious to promote the making of Wills. They point out a number of reasons in their literature as to the clear benefits of doing so. Avoiding intestacy, reducing tax liability, making arrangements for children and other considerations. But making the Will is not enough, if it then cannot be found. As the learned Judge said (above) it is vital those near to us know where the Will is kept, as – unfortunately – at the relevant time, you won’t be there to tell them.
And then there is dementia and other conditions that can complicate matters unless there is a clear registration, not then dependent upon you remembering where the Will was.
Martin Lewis at www.moneysavingexpert.com is staunch advocate of making a Will, and no doubt approves of a company such as ours providing a free registration service enabling the location of the Will (not its contents) to be defined.
We heard of actress Natasha McElhone who has spoken of her horror following her husband’s death when she discovered he had not made a Will and she might lose her home. It is equally tragic, however, when you make a Will, setting our your wishes very clearly, only to then end up lost. Merely because you failed to register it with The UK Wills Register.