GUIDANCE NOTE: Advising a client on the need to undertake a Will search using Certainty.
To help explain to a client the need for a Will search, here is some suggested narrative that you can use when giving advice in your client care letter, on your website or in other marketing materials.
Protection of/for Executors & Administrators – To help explain to a client the need for a Will search, here is some suggested narrative that you can use when giving advice in your client care letter, on your website or in other marketing materials.
Executors and administrators have the legal authority, responsibility and duty to distribute the deceased’s estate and can be held financially responsible for any mistakes made through any breach of duty.
Issues can arise if the estate is distributed on an assumed intestacy basis (without a Will) and a Will comes to light after distribution, or if the estate is distributed in accordance with the Will you hold, then a later Will comes to light.
To help prevent these issues, we advise clients that we undertake a Certainty Will search on their behalf. A Certainty Will search will check Certainty the National Will Register for ‘registered’ Wills and performs a regional search for ‘unregistered’ Wills with law firms in the areas where the deceased may have made a Will i.e. where they lived or worked during their lifetime.
A Certainty search helps to protect against claims brought about through the distribution of an estate on an assumed intestacy basis or not proving the last Will The Certainty Will search provides proof that reasonable steps have been taken to search for a Will or prove the last Will and therefore helps protect against claims arising for wrongful distribution.
The search is an allowable and recoverable disbursement from the estate. A search with Certainty the National Will Register for ‘registered’ Wills is £33+vat or to check for both registered and unregistered Wills using a Certainty Will Search Combined it is £90+vat.
If you have found a ‘Certainty Certificate of Will Registration’ then we would advise that a search of the Register is undertake, if not then we would recommend a Certainty Combined Will Search is undertaken.
Note to Practitioners – to perform a search log onto to www.certainty.co.uk
HOW TO GUIDE: Perform a Certainty Will search
1. Log on to www.certainty.co.uk
2. Select the required type of search;
3. a) ‘Combined Will Search’ if a registration
certificate is not presented – Enter the details
requested, namely deceased details: name,
DOB, date of death, last known address and
any previous addresses.
b) ‘Register Will Search’ if a registration
certificate is presented – Enter the Certificate
or Registration number plus the above details.
4. Enter your details
5. Enter payment details
6. Confirm details and submit search