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When There Is A Will, There Is (Quite Often!) A Way

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

We find that people often ask us to grant them a sight of the Will of a family member or ask to collect an original Will that is held by us.

If this is something you need, there are some points that must be considered before making the request.

Do you want to see your Will?

If so, then please just contact us! We are able to release the same to you provided you let us have sight of your identification documents*. We offer a Free Will Review service which may be of benefit to you, as we can arrange an appointment for you with one of our experts who will be able to explain the current terms of your Will and advise whether any change in circumstances mean that you need to change your Will. We usually tell people that if they have any major life changes then they should consider whether their Will is still effective. For example, if you were to get married, your Will is no longer valid and your Estate would be distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy! Our experts can also let you know whether there have been any changes in the law in respect of Inheritance Tax or any other matter that could affect you.

Someone you love has died and you are their Executor

If this is the case, we need to have sight of your identification documents*, the death certificate and if there is a joint Executor/Executrix then we need to see their ID* and a letter of authority confirming that the Will can be released to you.

Our probate lawyers are experts in their field and can assist you in making the application for the Grant of Probate and in collecting the assets and distributing them in accordance with the terms of the Will. Some Wills are not always valid and our experts will be able to advise you on how best to proceed in this respect. There is very rarely a problem that has not been encountered before and we can assist you not only by helping with the legal work but also by easing any worries you may have!

You hold a Lasting Power of Attorney and need sight of a Will

As an Attorney for someone’s Property & Finances, you have a duty to ensure that any action you take is in the best interests of the Donor. The following is an example of when you may need to have sight of the Donor’s Will: –

Karen is Kevin’s Attorney and Kevin now needs to go into a care home. Kevin has a number of assets, including a property and an investment portfolio. Karen knows that in order to pay for his care, she will need to sell his home or the investments. However, Karen has a memory of Kevin telling Laura that he is leaving his property to her on his death and this is dealt with in the Will as a specific legacy. Karen would have to check the Will to see whether that is the case in order to act appropriately as Kevin’s Attorney. If she was to sell the property when she could sell the investments instead, she would not be acting in accordance with Kevin’s wishes.

When taking instructions for Lasting Powers of Attorney, our experts always ask the Donor if they would like for their Attorney to have sight of their Will when necessary. If they grant that permission, it is drafted into the documents. If this has been granted, then we need to have sight of the Lasting Power of Attorney, your ID* and we would need to have either written confirmation from the Donor that they give permission for you to see their Will, or confirmation that the Donor has lost capacity (this would be by way of written report from the Donor’s Doctor).

You want to see your friends/family members Will

We as Solicitors have a duty of confidentiality to our clients. This is one of the cornerstones of our practice and we never breach that confidentiality unless we believe someone is in immediate danger of harm. As such, if someone asks us for sight of documentation and they do not have the right to see that documentation, we never allow them access to the same.

If you need assistance in respect of any of the matters raised in this article, please contact our Wills and Probate Team who will be pleased to help you.

*Identification documents

When providing ID it is important that you provide one item from list A and one item from list B below;

List ‘A’
Photo ID
• Current passport
• Current UK photo card driving licence
• Current travel pass (bus or rail)

List ‘B’
Proof of address ID (not more than three months old)
• Current council tax bill
• Bank/building society/credit union statement showing current address
• Current UK photo card driving license (full or provisional)
• Utility bill
• Original notification letter from DWP / benefits agency confirming client’s right to benefits

Kayleigh Brown

Posted:

Kayleigh Brown

Solicitor

Kayleigh qualified as a Solicitor in 2019 and works within the Private Client team at our office in Leicester. She has over 4 years of experience advising clients on Wills, LPAs, Probate, Estate Administration and a range of Tax and Trust issues.