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The simplest explanation of Will registration is that you tell Find a Will who wrote your Will, what date it was written and where it is kept.
This information then becomes a registry entry on the Certainty National Will Register. The record is permanent. This registry entry cannot be removed: ever.
Of course if, or when, you write another Will, or change your existing one, the register is updated with a new registry entry for your new (or newly altered) Will.
No, is the short answer.
The long answer is, in some EU countries there is a legal requirement for you to register your Will but there is no legal requirement, at the moment, in the UK. Will registration is, however, recognised by the legal profession as a matter of best practice. In fact, the Certainty National Will Register, which is, by far, the largest register of its kind, is also recognised as the only accredited provider of Will search and registration services in the UK by the legal profession.
No. There is no need to provide a copy of your Will. Find a Will does not need to see the actual Will, it just needs to know the date you wrote your Will, who wrote it for you (typically a solicitor or professional Will writer) and where you keep it.
Will registration protects you in three ways:
Malicious destruction is when a copy of your Will is deliberately destroyed by someone who might benefit from it. This is best explained by an example.
Let's say that, ten years ago, someone called Stan decided to leave a friend some money in his Will. Let's imagine that few years have passed and Stan has now decided that he won't leave the friend anything. Stan writes a new Will and leaving the money to the cat's home instead!
Stan sadly passes away a few years later and his friend decides to maliciously destroy the new Will (leaving the money to the cat's home) and tells everyone that the old Will (leaving the money to him) is the most recent.
This could not have happened if Stan had registered his new Will because anyone dealing with his estate after his death, having searched the register, would know that there was another, newer Will.
Writing a Will is very important. It is just as important that the Will can be found after your death.
A missing Will is a Will that is either:
Many solicitors will keep a copy of your Will on their premises if you ask them to. Some solicitors and Will writers also offer a third party, secure, Will storage service.
Find a Will recommends that your Will is stored in one of the ways mentioned above. Then, when you register your Will, you just need to include the details of the solicitor or Will storage company that is keeping the Will.
We understand, however, that not everyone wants to store their Will using one of these services. If you keep your Will in a safe place at home this can also be recorded on the register.
You may be familiar with the phrase 'Last Will and Testament'. It's usually only your most recent Will that is of any importance. People are sometimes surprised that there is no legal mechanism to ensure that your most recent Will is used to distribute your estate when you pass away.
Because of this, it is possible that your old Will may be used instead of your new one. Registering your Will through Find a Will means that the date that you wrote your Will is recorded. This means that anyone dealing with the administration of your estate can check to make sure they are using your most recent Will.