MG Legal Solicitors 
Longridge: 01772 783314 Garstang: 01995 602129 Lancaster: 01524 581306 Lytham: 01253 202452  
The word "Found" made up of the word "lost" repeated over and over; our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster discuss the importance of a Certainty Will Search.
When our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster are contacted to find out whether we hold a Will on behalf of someone who has died, we will check our records and release the information to the relevant person, if we hold a Will. However, imagine being in a situation where, like in Lancaster, there are a number of solicitors- more than 30- who are in a close enough vicinity to prepare a person’s Will. On top of this, a person can make a Will with a non-solicitor, or at a firm not so close to home. This could leave thousands of possible solicitors and non-solicitors in England and Wales who could have prepared your loved one’s Will. 
 
On this basis, where would you start? It’s not feasible to call all the firms directly and make enquiries, especially as some firms that once existed may have since closed, changed their name, or merged with another firm. With all these possibilities, there is one route our Probate Solicitors always recommend: a Will search, carried out through organisations such as Certainty, the National Will Register
 
More often than not, when our Probate Solicitors mention Certainty, our client will not be aware of what Certainty, the National Will Register, is and what they do. Will searches can save a lot of time and money for the Personal Representatives of a person’s estate, especially helping to prevent an incorrect distribution. 
A yellow pen resting on a blue background; our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster can be contacted by completing the contact us form here.

Contact our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster 

What is Certainty, the National Will Register? 

Certainty, the National Will Register, may seem self-explanatory. However, Certainty are not just the largest and longest-established register of Wills in the UK, they also offer a range of search packages to help the deceased’s family and friends to ensure they are distributing their loved one’s estate as the deceased would have wanted. These packages come at different price points, offering a variety of affordable options to ensure a person’s last wishes are being honoured. 

How can I carry out a Will search? 

You have a few options for carrying out a Will search. 
 
Firstly, you will need to decide what package you want to carry out. Our Probate Solicitors have discussed, below, a few of the different packages offered by Certainty, but you can also find information on Certainty’s website, here
 
Once you have decided what search package you want to carry out, you can either: 
Contact Certainty directly and instruct the search 
Contact our expert team of solicitors to assist with Probate, who can also instruct the search on your behalf. You can contact our team online, here, or via email to enquiries@mglegal.co.uk

What different Will searches can be carried out and how much will it cost? 

The search packages offered on Certainty’s website are: 

A Register Will Search at a cost of £58.80, including VAT 

This is a basic search of all the Wills registered with Certainty. This option is the cheapest and, if you are already aware of a Will made by the deceased and you are just checking that a newer Will was not made, this may be the option for you. However, if you are trying to ascertain that the deceased never made a Will and you are not already aware of the existence of one, or if you think a Will was made and it cannot be located, you may wish to instruct the following, more comprehensive, package. 

A Combined Will Search at a cost of £126.00 including VAT 

This search performs the above search and, in addition, searches for unregistered Wills with solicitors and will-drafters within a specific geographical location. Usually, you provide three postcode areas, and Certainty will contact firms within these areas, enquiring as to the status of a Will. 
Our advice would be to discuss the options available and the circumstances surrounding the deceased and their estate before making a decision about which search package is best suited to you. You can contact our expert team of Probate Solicitors in Lancaster to discuss a Certainty Will Search directly, or by completing the call back request form, above
Alternatively, contact Certainty directly to enquire about their search packages. 

How long do Certainty Will Searches take? 

The search of the Will register results are usually processed immediately and any results are generally expected to be received within 28 days (although this timescale was extended to 56 days due to COVID and some results can still take this long to trickle in). 
 
However, it’s important to note that any Will-writer or solicitor has a legal duty to ensure that they only release any Will to the correct people and, generally, only if the person who made the Will is deceased. Therefore, if you are not named as an executor in the deceased’s Will, even if you instructed the search or were a family member of the deceased, you will not be contacted directly. Instead, the solicitor who hold the Will contact the named executors directly. If you are the named executors, we will need proof of your identity and proof that the person who made the Will has died. 

Why choose MG Legal's Probate Solicitors in Lancaster? 

Transparent fees. 

We are the experts. 

Multiple Office Locations. 

Speak directly to us. 

Certainty Case Study 

In our Certainty bulletin, Certainty told the story of how a firm had managed to reunite a 33-year-old Will with a family after the wife of the deceased recalled that her and her spouse had made Wills years prior, but could not remember who the firm was that prepared them or where they were located. 
 
The family decided to carry out a Will Search Combined, and the firm that held the Will released the Will to the named executors, after dealing with the required formalities. 

MG Legal’s Case Study 

Our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster have carried out many Will searches on behalf of clients, when dealing with the administration of an estate. Many times, the search is carried out as a formality to ensure that the correct Will is being administered. 
 
However, the search has also been used by our team of solicitors near you, to ensure that the deceased did not make a Will that would differ from the Rules of Intestacy (the way an estate is dealt with if the deceased did not make a Will), ensuring that our clients have peace of mind that they are dealing with matters as the deceased intended. 

What happens next? 

Well, if you have a Will and were just checking for a newer Will, if there is no newer Will discovered, you can usually proceed on the basis of the Will that you hold. 
 
If there is no known Will and the search does not produce any information about a Will, you should deal with the estate in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, which you can read about, here
 
If a Will is discovered, providing it is the most current Will located and is valid, you should distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will. 
 
Contact MG Legal’s Probate Solicitors in Lancaster on 01524 581 306 to discuss your loved one’s estate, the next steps and how our expert team can help. 

Contact Us Today: 

To speak to our Probate Solicitors in Lancaster, contact us online here. 
Or give us a call on 01524 581 306. 

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