Wills and Probate | Certainty National Will Register Blog

Estate administration notices with The Gazette – complimentary CEW webinar by Mark Baxter-18 Aug 15

August 7th, 2015

The GazetteWe are delighted to welcome back Mark Baxter of Five Stone Buildings, who will be presenting the next instalment of Certainty Expert Webinars “Placing deceased estates notices (Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925) with The London Gazette (Official Public Record): liability in the administration of estates” on Tuesday 18 August 2015 at 1.00 pm.

Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis so register for the webinar now.

Influential barrister Mark Baxter speaks about the benefits of placing deceaseds’ estates notices with The Gazette, the official public record. Drawing from his extensive experience, Mark speaks about best practice when it comes to handling an estate, and how to minimise the risk of liability for the personal representative and beneficiaries.

Agenda

  • Introduction to The Gazette
  • The placement of deceased estates notices as best practice
  • The Gazette’s online submission route
  • Why engaging and introducing the lay PR to deceased estates notice placement ensures due diligence
  • The consequences of failing to advertise
  • The limitations of alternatives to advertising

Certainty Expert Webinars are presented by a selection of key professionals and have been carefully created to assist you and your business – identifying risks in the Wills and probate practice area, providing you with guidance and solutions to manage those risks and helping you to secure and enhance your future probate work.

Please join us for our highly informative, complimentary 1 hour CPD accredited webinar. Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis so register for the webinar now.

“Executor duties: lost Will or last Will”, published by The Gazette Official Public Record

July 22nd, 2015

The Gazette“If a loved one’s Will is lost, or if you need assurance that it was the last Will that they made before they died, what should you do? Karen Liddar, Operations Manager at Certainty, The National Will Register, explains.

When a loved one passes away, it’s not always easy to locate their Will, or know if they ever made a Will. And even if you do find a Will, how can you be sure that it’s the most recent version?

The importance of confirming the above can’t be overstated, particularly to those with the legal responsibility of administering the estate (the executors or administrators). A Will sets out someone’s wishes for their estate. It should ultimately clarify who should receive what. It may also contain important funeral wishes, such as whether a burial or cremation was preferred.

Searching for a Will in such circumstances has become an easier process in recent years. Certainty is the national Will register which is endorsed by the Law Society of England and Wales, and is accredited by the National Association of Funeral Directors.

So why is it that when a loved one dies, you may not be sure that they made a Will, or be able to find their Will, or know that it is their last Will? For most people, a Will is a very personal and private document that leads to a certain amount of contemplation about the end of their life. It’s not surprising, then, that once a Will has been written, it’s often locked away and forgotten about.

However, when someone dies, finding their last Will is very important, especially if you are an executor or administrator of their estate, with the legal responsibility to distribute it correctly. If a Will can’t be found, or wasn’t written, a Will search using Certainty is a legally recognised process that can be used to demonstrate that you have acted correctly. This helps to prevent claims arising from disgruntled beneficiaries due to the incorrect distribution of the estate, should a Will, or a later Will, come to light after the estate has been distributed.

Similar to a Section 27 notice, which protects executors by requesting that creditors or debtors come forward, a Certainty Will search searches for the last Will, or confirms that a Will did not exist, so that the estate can be distributed correctly. In addition, a Certainty Will search can be paid for from the estate (an allowable disbursement), and allows you to search for both registered and unregistered Wills.

The Gazette (Official Public Record) and Certainty in a Strategic Alliance

July 22nd, 2015

The GazetteThe Gazette, the official public record, and Certainty, the National Will Register, recently began a strategic working alliance, offering a comprehensive, belt and braces approach to risk management when distributing an estate.

Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925 enables trustees or personal representatives to protect themselves from liability against any claims from creditors and/or beneficiaries that they have not had any notice of at the time that they convey or distribute the property in question, provided that the notice placed complies with the requirements of that section.

This includes, among other things:
• advertising the intention to convey or distribute the property through a notice placed in The Gazette and a local newspaper (where the property is land)
• setting out a period of at least 2 months for any interested person to send the particulars of their claim to the trustee or personal representative

Though it is not a legal requirement, any trustee or personal representative placing a notice in accordance with section 27 will not be liable to any such creditors or beneficiaries.

A Certainty will search is a precursor to the Section 27 notice, in that it seeks to ensure that the correct will is being administered, or to establish that there is most likely not a will in an assumed intestacy situation. This is done by searching for registered wills, and nationally for wills that have not been registered.

The rationale behind the Gazette and Certainty working together is that Certainty will searches and Section 27 notices complement each other, but do not substitute each other.

Tom Dumont, barrister at Radcliffe Chambers, explains: “Section 27(2)(b) says that nothing in section 27 frees the PRs [personal representatives] from any obligation to make searches similar to those which an intending purchaser would be advised to make. Clearly, a Certainty will search should be done right at the beginning of the estate administration process, so as to verify you are proceeding with the correct will; or alternatively, that there is a will.

“Time and expense will inevitably be saved in this way… a Section 27 notice does not remove the requirement to do a will search, the two procedures serve different purposes, but work effectively and comprehensively to guard against risk. They represent a best practice approach to managing risk.”

Certainty research shows that 90% of solicitors who placed a Section 27 notice did so when they were the professional executor. But the placing of Section 27 notices should apply equally, and be recommended to lay personal representatives.

Certainty attends the SPG Annual Conference 2015

July 22nd, 2015

SPGCertainty the National Will Register was pleased to once again support the Sole Practitioners Group Annual Conference which was held on 8-10 May at the Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club in Warwickshire.

Certainty was on hand to meet SPG members to offer practical advice on typical scenarios when a Will search should be performed prior to distributing an estate, to prevent potential risks.

The response from SPG members to Certainty’s representatives was, almost without exception, very positive indeed. “This makes sense” and “I can see how this protects the testator and the practitioner” were typical comments.

It was also cheering to meet with the many SPG members who are fully-fledged members of Certainty. They offered tales of commercial successes, both big wins and small, gained by using Certainty’s TOUCH Wills Management and Marketing software.

The Sole Practitioners Group exclusively provides Certainty Will Registration and Certainty Will search (for both registered and ‘unregistered’ Wills) through a dedicated SPG website www.certainty.org.uk/spg .

We look forward to next year’s event!

Certainty Will Search – for complete peace of mind and protection…and what solicitors are saying!

July 22nd, 2015

Will SearchIn a recent survey, Solicitors overwhelmingly stated that they used Certainty when distributing an estate to give them peace of mind and protection.

Most solicitors said that they no longer look for a ‘warning’ sign or depend upon familiarity with the deceased client or their family in order to decide whether or not to undertake a search.

Certainty continues to protect against claims of incorrect administration for Solicitors and those involved with distributing an estate through the ability to be able to search the millions of Wills in its registration system and issue a national search for Wills that are not registered. Certainty’s National Will Search system issues a search notification to all law firms (not just Certainty member firms) in targeted geographical locations.

On a daily basis Certainty Will Search continues to prove without doubt that it protects against such claims. Certainty Will Search discovers ‘unknown’ later Will and Wills, even in situations where the PRs were adamant that the Testator had died intestate or they possessed the last Will!

What Solicitors are saying……

Hollie Coates, Solicitor, Coates Solicitors
“It is very important for us that we undertake a Certainty Will Search at the beginning of each Probate matter or intestacy, so that we can establish, before taking any other steps, that we are dealing with the relevant Will or later Will. This, of course, avoids problems for both us and the Client later on in the estate administration, when costs have been incurred. In addition, we are not put in the position of having to explain to the Client why a Will Search was not carried out at the beginning of the matter. I carry out Will Searches in all probate matters and intestacies where we are appointed Professional Executors. Will Search mitigates a known risk and gives the client and us the comfort that everything reasonably possible has been done to verify whether or not a Will or later Will exists. Our lay PRs see the benefit and protection Will Search provides and regularly instruct us to undertake a Certainty Will Search. The Certainty Will Search also helps reduce our annual professional indemnity insurance premium.”

Duncan Lyon, Director, Ellis-Fermor Negus
“Instigating a Certainty Will Search at the outset of a new estate brings significant peace of mind in the ongoing administration of the estate for both ourselves and our Executor clients.”

“When you use a Certainty Will Search you are not just searching against the circa 5 million Wills now in the registration system, but also issuing a geographically targeted search that also goes to law firms who are not members of Certainty.”

Peace of mind and protection is an allowable disbursement

For a solicitor, using a Certainty Will Search is proof that a recognised process was undertaken to endeavour to ascertain if a Will or later Will existed. This provides great levels of protection and peace of mind for the solicitor, PRs and beneficiaries.

When you carry out a Will Search using Certainty, your ‘‘searcher’s’’ details are provided to the holder of the Will – Certainty does not disclose the existence of the Will.

A Certainty Will Register Search is an allowable disbursement from the estate of £33+VAT.

For further information please contact Certainty the National Will Register on 0330 100 3660 .

“Continuing competence: the mystery unravelled for solicitors”

July 6th, 2015

Webinar imagePresented by Mark Solon of Bond Solon and Lucy Morrison of Central Law Training
Wednesday 8 July 2015 at 12.00pm

We are delighted to welcome Mark Solon of Bond Solon and Lucy Morrison of Central Law Training, who will be presenting the next instalment of Certainty Expert Webinars “Continuing competence: the mystery unravelled for solicitors” on Wednesday 8 July 2015 at 12.00 pm.

Many solicitors have no real idea of what’s happening to continuing professional development and this webinar will take you through the changes step by step so you will know what to do.

Mark Solon is a solicitor, a qualified Attorney at Law in California and has an MSc in Shipping Trade and Finance with distinction from the City University. He is the Managing Director of Wilmington Legal.

Lucy Morrison is a solicitor (non-practicising) and the Managing Director of Central Law Training, the largest provider of post qualification training for solicitors in the UK.

Agenda

  • What’s happening to continuing professional development.
  • Sixteen hours of study or what you please?
  • What you will now need to do to satisfy the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  • The time line.
  • How to be more than competent.

Certainty Expert Webinars are presented by a selection of key professionals and have been carefully created to assist you and your business – identifying risks in the Wills and probate practice area, providing you with guidance and solutions to manage those risks and helping you to secure and enhance your future probate work.

Please join us for our highly informative, complimentary 1 hour CPD accredited webinar. Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis so register for the webinar now.

Certainty Expert Webinars – “Achieving Innovation in your Firm’s Probate Practice” Presented by Gill Steel Tuesday 23 June 2015 at 12.00pm

June 19th, 2015

LawSkillsDon’t miss the next instalment of Certainty Expert Webinars when Gill Steel of LawSkills will be presenting the next instalment of  “Achieving Innovation in your Firm’s Probate Practice” on Tuesday 23 June 2015 at 12.00 pm.

By the end of this session participants will be:

  • Motivated to identify at least one way in which they could bring innovation to their probate processes
  • Able to plan to make a change happen
  • Keen to collaborate

Gill SteelGill Steel is a compelling seminar, in house and conference speaker with a strong gift for making Wills, Probate, Trusts, Tax and Elderly Client topics practical, engaging, authoritative and informative.

She is Author of Trust Practitioner’s Handbook, Consultant editor Tolley’s IHT & Trusts & Estates Guidance service, a solicitor with an MBA in Legal Practice Management, a Consultant with Blake Morgan LLP and runs www.lawskills.co.uk – an active website for Private Client Practitioners.

Certainty Expert Webinars are presented by a selection of key professionals and have been carefully created to assist you and your business – identifying risks in the wills and probate practice area, providing you with guidance and solutions to manage those risks and helping you to secure and enhance your future probate work.

Please join us for our highly informative, complimentary 1 hour CPD accredited webinar. Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis so register for the webinar now.

Agenda

  • Why every business needs to innovate
  • How to respond to feeling squeezed
    • Re-evaluate your position in the market
    • Re-design the way you do probate
  • Collaboration
    • To speed up your innovation project and discover new ways to create value for your client

Certainty attends the SPG Annual Conference 2015

May 14th, 2015

Sole PGCertainty the National Will Register was pleased to once again support the Sole Practitioners Group Annual Conference which was held on 8-10 May at the Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club in Warwickshire.

Certainty was on hand to meet SPG members to offer practical advice on typical scenarios when a Will search should be performed prior to distributing an estate, preventing potential risks.

The response from SPG members to Certainty’s representatives was, almost without exception, very positive indeed. “This makes sense” and “I can see how this protects the testator and the practitioner” were typical comments.

It was also cheering to meet with the many SPG members who are fully-fledged members of Certainty. They offered tales of commercial successes, both big wins and small, gained by using Certainty’s TOUCH Wills Management and Marketing software.

The Sole Practitioners Group exclusively provides Certainty Will Registration and Certainty Will search (for both registered and ‘unregistered’ Wills) through a dedicated SPG website www.certainty.org.uk/spg .

We look forward to next year’s event!

Certainty Expert Webinars: “Risk Management For Trust and Estate Professionals” – presented by Title Research on Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 12.00pm

May 12th, 2015

Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 12.00pm

Webinar imageWe are delighted to announce that the next instalment of Certainty Expert Webinars will be presented by Nicholas Beetham of Title Research on Tuesday 20 May 2015 at 12.00 pm.

Certainty Expert Webinars are presented by a selection of key professionals and have been carefully created to assist you and your business – identifying risks in the wills and probate practice area, providing you with guidance and solutions to manage those risks and helping you to secure and enhance your future probate work.

Please join us for our highly informative, complimentary 1 hour CPD accredited webinar. Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis so register for the webinar now.

It’s not always possible to predict how smoothly the administration of a given estate will go. This session will set out practical solutions to problems that crop up regularly in the process and give practitioners the tools to deal with them effectively.

Agenda

  • Identifying and locating missing and/or unknown beneficiaries and other relevant people
  • Tactical use of indemnities
  • Making the most of commercial opportunities presented by apparently hopeless “bona vacantia” cases
  • Tooling up to retrieve overseas shares
  • Avoiding trouble on distribution

Title ResearchSpeaker – Nick Beetham.

Nick is a Senior Relationship Manager at Title Research and has 16 years experience of helping practitioners solve missing beneficiary and other tricky problems. He has a special interest in the cost of missing beneficiary enquiries and where they should lie.

Register now

“Making a Difference to the Charity Sector” – presented by Remember A Charity

April 10th, 2015

Remember A CharityWe are delighted to announce that the next instalment of Certainty Expert Webinars will be presented by Rob Cope and Susanne Levy of Remember A Charity on Tuesday 28 April 2015 at 12.00 pm.

Register now

Certainty Expert Webinars are presented by a selection of key professionals and have been carefully created to assist you and your business – identifying risks in the wills and probate practice area, providing you with guidance and solutions to manage those risks and helping you to secure and enhance your future probate work.

Please join us for our highly informative, complimentary 1 hour CPD accredited webinars. Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis so register for the webinar now.

Gifts in Wills raise more than £2 billion a year for the charity sector, but most people don’t know that they can leave a legacy to their favourite charities.

Find out the latest research from the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team and how solicitors can play their role to make gifts in Wills the social norm.

Agenda

  • Importance of legacies to charity sector
  • Facts and figures
  • Remember A Charity – background, aims and objectives
  • The role of the legal sector
  • Cabinet Office trials

Speaker: Rob Cope – Director

Rob CopeRob has overseen a growing and vibrant consortium over the past five years, developing partnerships with government and the private sector. He was previously deputy director of marketing and communications at The Prince’s Trust,  including the youth charity’s 30th birthday appeal. Rob is a board director of Relief International and a keen runner.

Speaker: Susanne Levy – Marketing Manager

Susanne LevySusanne has specific responsibility for engaging the legal sector, as well as developing and implementing our annual awareness week, Remember A Charity Week. Susanne was previously head of Jeans for Genes, a national annual dress-down appeal day.

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