You probably know how it feels when you can?t find your car keys or mobile phone… at least you have a reasonable idea where to start looking, whereas your friends and family will not have a clue where you have been to retrace your steps. So if a Will cannot be found after death you can imagine the consequence can be devastating.?
Wills usually record whether the client wants to be buried or cremated, imagine the upset if there had been a cremation to then find it should have been a burial!?
With the passage of time, moving house, chaotic personal paperwork and even intentional destruction of either the client?s copy Will or the original because ?the finder? isn?t in it, may cause significant ramifications for the rest of the family and other beneficiaries.?
Searching for a Will is ?a normal part? of handling probate after someone has passed away. I have come across clients hiding important documents in all sorts of places, including behind their favourite picture, so where do you hide yours? And have you told your executors? You are of course relying on them remembering this, hopefully for decades.?
There are websites out there that you can register, or record where your original is kept, but they will cost you extra money. It is an option and if you are interested please contact us. Our preferred solution for you to adopt is this:?
???????? i.??????????? We strongly recommend you use our private document storage facility to safeguard your important papers. There is a small annual cost for this, an additional benefit to you is that if you need to update/amend your Wills or Lasting Power of Attorney documents, you do not pay any further legal charges, all we ask you to cover is a small postage/handling fee of less than ?10.
?????? ii.??????????? You will of course keep copies of the documents that we have provided with your private papers. In addition, you will always receive a number of covering letters from us during the process of setting up your Wills. Keep these with your copy Wills as they are a strong clue that we may be looking after the originals. You could give family, friends and executors a copy of one of the letters so they too are aware of our involvement.
????? iii.??????????? We have been giving out to clients ?for FREE? a booklet called ?My Documents? and it encourages you as a client, to write down what you have got and where it is kept. If you also keep this with your private papers, such as your copy Will and so on, it will also help your family and executors to understand what will be involved in handling your estate after you have left this World. If you do not have one of these and would like one, please ask us to send one to you.
???? iv.??????????? We can and often do, help your executors to manage the probate process for you, and without it costing ?typical solicitors? fees.
?The message is clear, make sure you (and your family) are organised, follow these few simple golden rules and a lot of the pain and heartache will go away leaving you safe in the knowledge that you have done what you need to.
?If you would like any help or advice, please get in touch and we will be delighted to guide you.