Ashford based Estate Planning firm, Squiggle Consult, has lodged an online petition to make it mandatory in England to register your Last Will and Testament.
Ashford based Estate Planning firm, Squiggle Consult, has lodged an online petition to make it mandatory in England to register your Last Will and Testament. The consultancy, headed up by Kieran Osborne, is based in Kent and offer Legacy advice planning and documentation support. They decided to take action after discovering the shocking impact that not registering a Will can have on loved ones.
Research conducted by The Independent revealed that there is an estimated £15 billion worth of unclaimed assets due to not being able to locate a Will. The Bona Vacantia laws, also known as Ownerless Goods laws, means the majority of these assets will be allocated to The Crown if a signed Will cannot be found. Around £48 million worth of property and estates owned by deceased individuals has been transferred to the state as a result of this.
Although more people are creating Wills to ensure their wishes are carried out, this is becoming an increasingly concerning issue, as many people are choosing now to create Wills from online templates and store them somewhere unknown to their loved ones. Alternatively, even if the individual in question makes a point of alerting their family to the location of the Will, it is likely that, if it is not needed for another several decades, the family will have forgotten where the Will was placed, or it has been moved over time.
One of the reasons for this issue is the uneasiness around bringing up the conversation with family. Research shows that a third of the UK population want to approach the topic with parents but haven’t for fear of upsetting them. Ironically, the same proportion of parents share exactly the same fear around worrying about their children. This lack of communication is evidently having an effect on a large amount of the population. Almost a quarter of UK citizens revealed that they were concerned they hadn’t carried out the wishes of their loved ones correctly, due to them never discussing it.
One of the key things that Squiggle Consult wants to gain from this petition is awareness of the simplicity and privacy in registering a Will. An individual can register their Will online for around £30, and they do not have to provide a copy of the document. All that is required is the location of the Will, the date it became valid, and the names of the executors. This easy registration means that after the death of a loved one, a family member can search on a Will registration website to find the location of your Will, avoiding a great deal of stress and upset.
Kieran Osborne, CEO and founder of Squiggle, said “Many people don’t even know that you can or should register a Will. We believe very strongly that this information should be much more prominent, as it is likely to be the difference between a family receiving their rightful inheritance as per the wishes of the deceased. It would be such a simple thing for the government to impose, and it would save so many families a great deal of worry and dispute. Please sign and share this petition to protect millions of individuals’ wishes and see that they’re families receive the financial support that their loved one intended.”
The original blog relating to the story in this article can be found at the following link: www.squiggleconsult.co.uk/post/make-will-registration-mandatory-sign-the-petition