Do I Have To Register My Will?

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Is there an obligation for you to register your Will v2

Is there an obligation for you to register your Will?

In England and Wales, you have no legal obligation to register your Will.

However, once your Will has been signed, it is helpful for you to inform the Executors of your Will where your original Will is stored, as they will need the original document to deal with the administration of your estate.

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What issues may arise if I do not register my Will?

Unfortunately, it is common when someone dies that their loved ones do not know where the original Will is kept or even whether they left a Will at all.

The bereaved relatives would then need to embark on a time-consuming process of calling local solicitors to check if any of them hold a Will at a very difficult time.

It can prove tricky if the person who has died has lived in various places.

Whether someone has left a Will or not significantly impacts how the estate is administered and who has the authority to deal with the estate.

For example, if no Will can be found, the intestacy rules will apply to the division of the estate.

Who benefits from your estate under the intestacy rules will depend on which family members have survived you.

You may wish to read our blog on “How do the intestacy rules impact cohabitees and stepchildren.

There is a risk that your relative could begin the process of applying to act as the administrator of your estate on the basis that you have not left a Will, only to find that a Will is found at a later date.

Alternatively, your relatives may not be aware that you made a later Will.

The Executor of your old Will may therefore apply for the grant of probate to deal with your estate and fail to distribute the estate the way you intended.

This could lead to increased costs and potential claims against the estate.

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What issues may arise if I do not register my Will

How do I register my Will?

To help your loved ones locate your Will, one option you can consider is registering your Will with the National Will Register.

This platform allows you to record the existence of your Will and where it is located for a relatively small fee.

It is then possible for a search to be carried out via a Will Search to find your Will when necessary.

The National Will Register has recently announced that it has registered more than 10 million Wills on its platform.

The Wills register favoured by the Law Society is called the National Will Register.

Suppose you have already registered a Will with the National Will Register.

In that case, it is important to ensure that you also register your most up-to-date Will, as otherwise, your relatives may rely on an old Will by mistake, potentially leading to distribution to the wrong beneficiaries.

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How do I register my Will

Contact Our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Lawyers

We offer to register your Will with the National Will Register on your behalf once you have made your Will with us.

If you would like further information, please get in touch with our Wills, Trusts and Probate Team on:

0161 941 4000