Hundreds of bereaved families could be forced to unravel estates wound up years ago when a high street bank recently confirmed that it has discovered it was holding envelopes which it could not match to customers. Customer Wills were found among some 190,000 valuable papers stored by their’ safe custody’ service, which was shut to new customers in 2011.

Whilst they state that in the majority of cases Wills were either superseded by a newer version or copies of the Wills were held elsewhere, the bank confirmed that

“In a small proportion of cases, it’s become clear that we did not trace a customer’s Will when we were notified of their passing.”

Michael Culver, chairman of Solicitors for the Elderly, said: “The Bank failing to pass on the wills of 9,000 deceased customers, will no doubt have caused huge distress to the families involved”. “This processing failure is likely to have led to estates being wrongly distributed, contentious probate claims, negligence claims against executors and administrators, issues with tax payments and ultimately the last wishes of the deceased not being honoured”

Solicitors specialise in making and storing wills, so it’s best to seek their support rather than using high street banks, and it’s always advisable to register a Will.”

Here at Paul Robinson Solicitors, when we assist you in drafting a Will, we automatically arrange the original to be stored free of charge in our secure storage and a certified copy sent to you. This ensures that you and your relatives, upon your death have a copy immediately to hand to confirm vital facts like the identity of the executors, location of the original Will and perhaps most importantly, funeral requests.

We have also joined Certainty, the national Wills Register. The purpose of the register is to log the existence of all Wills in a central location so that they can be traced by the executors at the appropriate time. The cost of registering a Will is £10 plus VAT each when you draft a Will with us and we would be happy to arrange this for you.

Storing a Will in a bank is not advisable as in most cases it will not be accessible to the executors until they get probate which in most cases, cannot be granted without a will.

Call us today on 01702 338338 to discuss drafting a Will including our free Will storage service.