Protect your wishes, protect your assets, for free
The National Will Register are holding their annual Free Will Registration Month from Monday 18th May 2020.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for Will writing has vastly increased. It was reported by The Law Society, the independent professional body for Solicitors in England and Wales, that there has been a 30% increase in the demand for writing Wills since the outbreak began. The Coronavirus has triggered many members of the public to either review their current Will or to contact a solicitor or Will writing professional to write a Will for the first time.
Part of the process of writing a Will is to ensure it can be quickly located following a death. Therefore, when writing your Will, you should also register it with The National Will Register. If your beneficiaries or executors are unsure if they are in possession of the last Will, cannot find the Will or are unaware if a Will was ever written, it can cause additional stress for your loved ones as well as put them at risk of distributing your estate incorrectly.
The National Will Register is endorsed by The Law Society of England & Wales and 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 8.6 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 by a person named in the Will (the executors and beneficiaries). There were an additional 750,000 Wills registered in 2019 which has contributed to the 8.6 million Will registrations that are now in the system. In line with the current increase in the demand for Will writing, there has also been an increase in Will registrations.
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.
Free Will Registration Month is running from Monday 18th May until Thursday 18th June 2020. To register your Will visit www.nationalwillregister.co.uk and enter the code FreeWillReg2020 when asked. You do not need a copy of your Will to register it and the register does not need to see your Will.
About The National Will Register
Certainty the National Will Register is The Law Society’s endorsed provider of the National Will Register for England and Wales, the Institute of Professional Will Writers and the Society of Will Writers and Society of Will Writers Scotland. It is recommended by organizations including the Citizens Advice Bureau and Which?
Used by the public, legal profession, funeral directors, professional indemnity insurers, government agencies and charities to Register Wills and Search for Wills when dealing with a bereavement or writing a Will.
The National Will Register has over eight million Wills in the system currently a large proportion of Wills written by solicitors and Will writers with over 750,000 being registered in 2019.
The National Will Register provides fundamental protection for executors, beneficiaries and administrators and the probate profession distributing estates by minimising the risk of another Will being discovered after the estate has been distributed or an unknown Will remaining untraced and the estate being distributed without a Will.
In 2019, 12% of estates searched against had an unknown Will attached to them, the search prevented incorrect estate distribution. Either being a later Will revoking the Will being used or the estate was believed to be intestate and a Will existed. A Will Search checks to see if a Will has been registered with Certainty the National Will Register and also conducts a nationwide geographically-targeted search for Wills that have not been registered.
Each and every day we obtain human interest stories that demonstrate how Will Registration and Will Search have been able to assist in the Will writing and probate process, please do get in contact should you wish to receive further details.