When we are initially referred a case, we are provided with any known information about the deceased and their estate. The details that are provided can differ on a case by case basis.
Sometimes when cases are referred to us, it’s already known that the deceased had a Will. When this happens, we will first locate the Will and confirm its validity. Thereafter, we will proceed to locating the beneficiaries and ensure the estate is distributed in accordance with the Will.
However, there are a multitude of instances when a Will may not be known to us at the time of referral. On these occasions, we make enquiries with any known family and care homes, but often, this may not give us a definitive answer.
If someone passes away without leaving a valid Will, their Estate is distributed according to the ‘Rules of Intestacy’ where they are domiciled. These rules determine who will inherit an Estate and in what shares.
In order to mitigate the risk of distributing an estate by the ‘Rules of Intestacy’ in the absence of a valid missing Will, we can conduct a Will Search at the start of our investigation. We conduct our Will Searches through Certainty the National Will Register, a well-established organisation endorsed by the Law Society.
We consider this an important step in our investigations and we always offer this service to the Personal Representative before distribution of the Estate. In cases where little is known about the deceased or where the beneficiaries are distant relatives, these searches can add that extra comfort and ease of mind for the Personal Representative.
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