Is it time we had a national register of wills in place?
Local solicitors like ourselves often talk about the importance of making a will – but what is also equally important, and not much spoken about, is the storage of the will once it is made.
In many cases, wills are stored in boxes under beds or, hopefully, are given to family solicitors’ offices for safe keeping.
The executors named in the will have already been given a copy, but this isn’t always the case.
In fact, lost wills are a frequent occurrence and, to the shock of many, currently there is no national, central governmental will register, which details if a will has been made and where it is stored.
If you have made a will it is vital to make sure you let those close to you know of its whereabouts.
Hunting down a will can be particularly difficult if a person has moved around a lot during their lifetime.
Here at Bowsers, we think this vital subject often omitted from the debates about wills is tackled and certainly we can see an argument for possibly a national wills register.
Losing a loved one is hard enough and this kind of problem on top of losing someone close is just so sad and unnecessary.
In our experience, generally, the process when someone passes away is family or friends look through their paperwork – but needless to say this task is determined by how organised the deceased person was.
Currently if a will is never found the person is then treated as having died intestate – which means, as if they had never made a will.
As well as it being hard on those left behind, it also means the deceased person’s wishes are never carried out.
As things stand, a national wills register isn’t even on the radar of the powers-that-be – so, until that day comes, we ask everyone to make sure all those with a will let their nearest and dearest know where it is.
It obviously makes good sense for it to be stored for safekeeping at a good local solicitor’s office.
With all bureaucratic matters surrounding individuals – whether they are legal or not – clarity is vital, so do try to get your paperwork in order.
We hope this has helped some of you ask some important questions, which will unquestionably give a lot of peace of mind.