I love reading a good murder mystery or watching a dramatic ‘Who Done It’ on TV but there is a poetic license in both to make the truth more interesting. In particular, the reading of the Will when someone dies. It may be portrayed as an event for the nosy and self-important (and Poirot) to attend at the offices of the family solicitor but the reality is far from that.
Both the drafts and the final Will are confidential documents. Only the person making the Will has the right to inform others about it. A solicitor may offer to keep the original Will safe and provide the person with copies to have at home. I advise clients to inform their chosen executors where they can find the original Will or copies when needed.
A Will usually appoints one executor or more to administer the estate. An executor’s role is to carry out the instructions in the Will and ensure any forms or other admin steps are completed. Once the person passes away, the original Will is released to the named executors only. Executors often meet with a solicitor to have the contents of the Will explained to them. The executors then have time to gather information about the estate and speak to the beneficiaries in a timely manner, rather than all in a rush.
Making a Will can be a very private and personal experience. It is for you to choose with whom you share this. Equally, if you are an executor, it is about doing things right, not quickly.
Find out more about how our specialist Inheritance Protection team can assist you in making your Will here.