You’ve made a Will. Now where is it?

We may be living in the Digital age, but it is still vital to keep your original paper Will safe.

Solicitors preparing Wills often provide secure storage as part of their service and some people get their bank to hold their Will.

These are certainly good places to store your document - and to start if you need to track down a Will.

Tell someone you trust

It is a good idea to tell your executors where your current Will – and any future versions – will be stored.

This will avoid uncertainty about whether it is the latest and final Will you made (and hopefully avoid a dispute).

To make life even simpler you could attach a summary of your financial affairs. Executors will need to compile something similar to this for Probate purposes.

The Certainty and Probate registries

There is no central registry for Wills, but these are both prominent services that people use to register and / or store their Wills.

You can apply to these registries at the following addresses if you are searching for a Will after somebody has died:

www.certainty.co.uk

http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/probate/withdrawing-a-will-from-safe-keeping

If you are using a Solicitor to administer a person’s estate they should be able to help and make additional enquiries.

What if a Will cannot be found?

There are rules and procedures to follow to decide who should administer, and benefit from a person’s estate.

See our Guide to the Intestacy Rules for further details.


Wills

  • Will drafting
  • Review of existing Wills
  • Advice re provision for children, second families, spouses and civil partners, unmarried partners and other family members
  • Advice re charitable gifts
  • Advice re foreign and business assets
  • Advice re Will trusts
  • Codicils
  • Inheritance Tax advice.

Trusts

  • Advice re Trust creation and ongoing management
  • Preparation of trust deeds and other trust documentation
  • Declarations of Trust
  • Termination of trusts.

Probate and Administration of Estates

  • Advice re the terms of the Will or intestacy rules where there is no Will
  • Obtaining values for the various assets and liabilities in the estate, notifying the various institutions and obtaining all necessary estate information
  • Obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration as appropriate
  • Dealing with and advice re Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax, liaising with HMRC
  • Notifying and liaising with the beneficiaries of the estate
  • Preparing a deed of variation or a deed of disclaimer in relation to the estate
  • Selling or transferring the various assets due to the beneficiaries
  • Dealing with foreign assets and Wills
  • Advice re estate disputes and claims against an estate

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