Because your will is one of the most significant papers in your life, it makes sense to safeguard it as much as possible. Registering your will with a registrar’s office, which can register your will and make it a public record, is one approach to ensure it survives you. While no state requires testators to file or register their will during their lifetime, you can voluntarily submit your will for registration with various governmental and commercial entities for further assurance.
What is a Will?
A Will is a document written by a live person that states his or her wishes to be carried out after death. Simply write your will on a sheet of paper, stating all of your beneficiaries, assets, and how you want them allocated. Even a basic will, however, can have hidden complications, and the underlying ambiguity can lead to court battles, conflicts, and long-lasting animosity among families.
With the surrounding uncertainty and gloom, there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to not only make your will but also clear any reservations you may have had about it. Here are five questions you should know the answers to, or that frequently concern the minds of persons preparing their estates and writing wills.
Why is a Will Important?
A will is required because if a person dies intestate, that is, without executing a legitimate WILL. Then his entire estate will be divided among all of his legitimate heirs. In order to claim to be a legal heir, a succession certificate must be obtained from the competent court, and only then will the property be divided or partitioned among all legal heirs. It should be mentioned that if the deceased individual died intestate, that is, without making a legal will, all Class I heirs will inherit the property in equal proportion.
It should also be noted that if a person dies intestate, that is, without the execution of a valid Will, a Letter of administration must be obtained from the competent court in favor of any one person, i.e. a legal heir or legal representative, for managing the entire estate of the deceased person until the actual distribution or partition of the deceased person’s property is done in accordance with the survivorship and succession certificate.
If, on the other hand, a person has completed a valid will, it is a binding testamentary document, and his assets and properties will be administered and distributed among the beneficiaries selected by the testator after his death.
A will takes effect only when the person who made it dies, and it can be canceled or altered by him at any moment before his death.
Why Is Registering a Will Necessary?
#1. Executors and beneficiaries are both unaware
Because executors and beneficiaries are ignorant of the existence or location of original Wills, which are safely maintained by legal firms, they may be disregarded.
#2. Make sure your final wishes are known.
It has taken time to define last wishes in a Will, and a Will Registration helps to ensure that these are made public.
#3. Avoid inappropriate distribution.
Ensure that a Will can be found and used to properly divide an estate, eliminating the dangers associated with a Will becoming lost, misplaced, or forgotten over time.
#4. Reduce the likelihood of purposeful suppression.
A disgruntled next of kin may purposefully withhold information about the existence and location of a Will. Registering a Will assures that it may be found, located easily, and discussed privately.
How to Register Your Will
You may have a few alternatives if you decide to register your will. In some states, you can register your will with the secretary of state or the local probate court. Some states allow you to register the will itself, leaving the original with the court, while others merely allow you to register details about your will, most notably its location. Find out how it works in your county by contacting your local probate court. Typically, you fill out a form, pay a nominal fee, and put your will in a simple sealed envelope (if permitted). After your death, only your close relatives or executor will have access to the information.
A private will registry company is another possibility. These are online businesses that store information about your will for a fee. The register, like state registrations, will allow only specific persons to access details about your will after you die. You can find these registrations by conducting an internet search for “find a will registry online.”
No matter where you register your will, keep in mind that it will be useless unless your loved ones know where to look for it. Make sure someone – or multiple individuals – knows where you’ve registered your will. Alternatively, simply tell them where you keep the will itself.
Is it Difficult to Register a Will?
The process of registering your will is really simple. The United States Will Registry records the digital or physical location of your will, as well as a list of persons who will have access to your registration. It also contains information about other end-of-life documents.
Once your registration is complete, you will be given a certificate to show your family that you are registered. This also enables you to keep the contents of your will private until your death.
Can Others View Your Data?
Your registration information is only released if the Registry receives the following:
- A certificate of death
- Identification with a photograph
The search is carried out by an authorized member whom you specified in your registration.
What is the Cost of Registering A Will?
Registration for a Last Will and Testament is free. You will receive an email every year reminding you to update your will or change its location. You can always change your registration if you rewrite or relocate your will.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive an email with a certificate to print and save somewhere your family can find it. Make sure to notify your loved ones that you have registered. Registering your will allows your relatives to locate your estate documents while keeping them private and secure until they are needed.
Should the Will be Typed or Handwritten?
The will can be typed or written by hand. However, writing it is preferable because it is easier to show its authenticity by validating the testator’s handwriting. Individuals preparing their wills at home and delivering the final form via mail for screening and finalization by their advisors has been a regular sight in this epidemic where personal contact with legal counsel has been impossible.
Three considerations for your will
We hope we have persuaded you to register your will by now. It is reasonably priced, and the advantages significantly outweigh the costs.
Let us show you three more things to think about when making your will.
#1. Will writing services simplify the process, and some are free
Professional will writers and businesses (such as Bequest!) make creating and registering wills a breeze. Contact a service, explain what you want, and answer any questions for more information, and your will can be resolved in minutes.
Many services will also file your will with the law society and the National Will Register, ensuring that it is never lost.
#2. Seek legal counsel if you have any issues or concerns.
If you believe your will is unduly difficult, or if you have questions about the procedure, consult with an attorney. They can teach you how to write wills that will provide for your estate, property, and loved ones.
#4. Will registration records facilitate the probate process
We’ve already discussed probate, but it bears repeating. A quick probate case is resolved in around 9 months. The inability to locate the deceased’s will may prolong the process even further. Why should you entrust the management of your will to your children or family?
What happens if a will is not properly recorded?
To be lawful, your will does not need to be recorded. Registration, on the other hand, ensures that your will can be located in the National Will Register. This will make handling your estate after your death easier. Lost wills can cause delays in probate, thus it is best to register your will.
Is it necessary for me to have my will registered with a solicitor?
No, you are not needed to get your will registered with a solicitor. Solicitors, on the other hand, can assist you in registering your will with the National Will Register.
Is it required to get a will registered?
No, registering a will is not required. It is still legally binding after your death if the prerequisites for a legally binding will are met.
What is the cost of registering a will in the United Kingdom?
The National Will Register now charges £30 to register a will. This does not include any fees for drafting the will. Professional will writing services can cost several hundred pounds. You can also utilize a free will service to write your will and then register it yourself.
Who should have custody of the original will?
You can keep the original will if you keep it in a safe place. You might keep it in a house safe or with a solicitor. Your family should know where it is stored so that they can discover it after you die.
People do not commonly register wills since the testator of the will can cancel or change it at any moment and as many times as he wants until he is of sound mind and competent to dispose of his property. A registered will, on the other hand, can only be canceled by contacting the sub-registrar office where the Will was recorded.
What is Probate?
Probate is the certification by a competent court that a will is legitimate.
When granting probate of a will, the competent court generally inquires into every material fact relating to the persons who claim to be interested under such will, the property claimed as the subject of disposition, the circumstances of the testator and his family, and into every fact and knowledge of which may contribute to the correct application of the testator’s words.
Why is Will Probate Required?
Will Probate is required only when a Will is unregistered in order to obtain judicial validation that the Will is genuine.
Appointment of Executor: Probate shall only be awarded to an executor named in the will. However, if no one is named as executor in the will, the Court will appoint any lawful heir or another person beneficiary as executor and grant probate of the will at its own discretion.