ICAEW is pleased to be able to make Certainty Will search available to its members. We believe that this is a highly valuable and extremely relevant service that is representative of best practice and prudent risk management.
Implementing a Will search using Certainty is very easy and is a low cost disbursement. If the Will cannot be found on the Will register then the REACH Will search system was designed to issue a search for unregistered Wills. This is also a very low cost and efficient service replacing the expensive and inefficient historic process of writing out to law firms.
Certainty Will search is now widely recognised as part of the estate administration process. Today 1000s of solicitors use Certainty Will search to offer added protection and reduce risk for the client, firm, PR’s, Executors and Beneficiaries.
Will search has been so relevant for the profession that it is formally referenced in several publications including the Law Society’s Probate Practitioners Handbook as best practice.
Additionally Lexis Nexis and Practical Law Company have issued Guidance and Practice Notes to now include Certainty Will search. Both Notes outline the steps and procedures a practitioner should undertake to avoid negligence when distributing an estate.
Key risks in relation to this area of work which Certainty resolve include; not proving the most recent and valid Will, distributing the estate under an intestacy where a Will exists but adequate steps have not been taken to find it and not making beneficiaries, administrators or executors aware of their options to check that they are distributing the correct Will.
Last year approximately 85% of PII providers included Certainty Will Search on their proposal form. Certainty Will search demonstrates risk management during the estate administration process when a Will is not present or a newer Will than the one presented may exist. The aim has been to lower a Law Firm’s risk profile and hopefully at some point in the future help to lower the firm’s insurance premium. Indeed one insurer who insures circa 20% of the profession has stated that in some cases using Certainty could save firms money on their insurance premiums