When you draw up a will, it’s essential to keep it in a safe place. But many people wonder if it’s necessary to have the will registered as well. This post answers that question, whilst exploring the consequences of whatever action you take.
Is Registration Compulsory?
The first thing to state is that will registration isn’t compulsory. There’s no legal requirement to register it and, as a result, no central register to take it to.
This appeals to clients who don’t want family and friends to know a will has been made. The reasons for this are many and understandable. And whilst we don’t have time to explore them all here, they could be summed up quite simply. People act strangely around money.
This may be the case. But even though there’s no legal requirement to register a will, we advise all our clients to do so.
Firstly, if the existence of your will is kept secret, then how will anyone know about it when you die? This is likely if you make the will yourself. But even if you ask your legal representative, are they going to be able to tell your family and friends? Have you instructed them with the relevant contact details to do so?
If you register your will, don’t worry. The contents will remain secret on the register. But in the event of your death, your will’s secure location will become traceable. Which means your executors will then be able to access it after you die.
If you don’t register your will, the sad truth is those you want to inherit your estate could lose out. Even if you tell them the whereabouts now, they could well forget the location. And if the will can’t be found, rules of intestacy will apply. The government will divide your assets and your family could lose out on what you’ve saved for them.
You can store a will securely through the solicitor or the will writer who created it. Alternatively, you can store it in your own location and make sure it’s safe from theft, damage or dogs that like chewing things.
The will can be stored as soon as you sign it, then registered in a matter of minutes online. When dealing with probate matters, most solicitors carry out a search at “Certainty- National Will Database”, which is one of the most widely used voluntary registers available.
At KRS Estate Planning, we register and store wills with Certainty for free as all part of our service. That way, you can be sure your appointed loved ones will inherit the full value of your estate at no extra cost. Call 0116 2505747 if you’d like to know more and we can have a free discussion.