Writing a Will is one of the most important documents you will write in your lifetime. However, you should be advised on several things afterwards to ensure your needs are met and to secure and protect the wishes expressed in the Will you have just written.
Providing you with this advice allows us to tailor our service to your needs and hopefully added value that differentiates us from the DIY and digital will creators.
1 - Store your Will, preferably with us
Now that you have done the most important thing, which is to write your Will and codify your wishes so that they can be realised when the time comes, you will no doubt be looking to secure your Will. This is where safe, secure Will storage comes into place – and many testators (you) store their Will with their solicitor (us) to ensure its safety and easy action when needed.
By offering Will storage facilities, you can be sure your will is safe and available to you and your loved ones when required. Having your Will with us allows your loved ones to take advantage of our estate administration services once it is required.
2 -The Will should be registered with The National Will Register.
Once your Will’s location has been finalised, we recommend you register that location with The National Will Register.
In a survey undertaken by the National Will Register in 2020, two-thirds of UK adults did not know where to find their parent’s Wills or if they’d made one. That means that two in three people that come to deal with their parent’s estate after passing will be reliant on what they find in the home, such as any correspondence found, which can be a long, arduous task that could ultimately result in being none-the-wiser and then calling around local firms or The National Will Register for help in finding the Will, or assuming the estate intestate.
By registering the Will with The National Will Register, the testator’s Will can be easily and quickly located by those who are entitled to it when needed by conducting a Certainty Will Search. The searcher’s details are passed to the firm that is storing the document, and they contact the searcher if they are entitled to know the location of the Will.
3 - You should speak to your loved ones about your Will
It’s also important for you (the testator) to inform your loved ones that you have made a Will, where it is stored, and that it is registered, so it can be found quickly when needed. If the circumstances are appropriate, you may also consider sharing details of the Will with your beneficiaries and loved ones so they know what to expect when it is found. This can be particularly helpful in ensuring that time-sensitive matters are attended to, such as funeral arrangements, and can also help reduce the chance of a Will being disputed in the future.
4 - You should create a life folder.
A life folder can be a great device to keep all the necessary documents for someone to handle your affairs when needed. This can be when you pass or become unable to handle your affairs yourself but will usually include a set of documents such as the certificate of your Will’s registration, any other legal documents that they may be subject to such as powers of attorney, deeds, contracts and agreements, financial information, funeral plans and so forth.
A robust and updated life folder makes the administration of an estate and knowing the next steps for anyone using it much easier and, therefore, less stressful for them and more effective for you (the creator) regarding your wishes being adhered to. This also helps Wills to be found more easily, meaning less chance of them being forgotten or untraced.
5 - You should consider protecting yourself further and planning ahead
You may want to consider a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) should you want to have some control over what would happen should you become unable to manage your affairs. Often, writing a Will is a good time to consider writing an LPA for financial and succession planning reasons but also for control over decisions over your health as well.
Written by The National Will Register
1st February 2023