Disposing of Personal Items in your Will

During our lifetime, we collect many personal items (or chattels as we lawyers like to call them), such as our breakfast bowl, jewellery, cars and, perhaps even, works of art.  We dispose of some of these items too, as they either wear out; cease to be of interest to us or when we have the New Year clear out!


Whilst some items will have actual value, some will simply have sentimental value but, when we die, we may want specific individuals to receive certain items.  If we list these wishes in our Will, this could create a very long document and one which would need to be updated regularly to reflect changes in what we own, as well as changes to who should receive those items, as our own relationships change. 



So, to avoid the inconvenience and cost of you having to re-write your Will, a clause can be incorporated into your Will which gives your Executors the power to dispose of your personal items in accordance with any wishes you have made known to them.  Then a separate letter can be prepared to enable you to note your current wishes.  Should you review your wishes in the future and wish to make changes, this can be done by simply updating the letter itself without making changes to the Will.


For more information about writing your Will, please contact Joanna Parkin or Rebecca Head on 01543 440 308. 

“Lost” Wills following Closure of Law Firm

It is not uncommon through the passage of time, that law firms re-locate or sadly close down.  This can result in other law firms inheriting their Will Banks and on occasions, this can sometimes result in the original Will Writer not knowing the current location of their Will.

The law firm who “inherits” the Will Bank will usually attempt to contact those they hold Wills for, but if those people have themselves re-located, it may mean they are unable to do so. 

It is important for clients to know where their Wills have moved to, so they have the reassurance that their Wills can be located upon death or if they need to review their Will.  Certainty – the National Wills Register can help in these situations. 


Mr L comments: “My Wife and I wrote Wills at a St. Albans in 1980 in St. Alban’s when we lived in that area. Later, we relocated nearly 100 miles away.  When my Wife passed away, I needed to locate our Wills. When trying to locate our Wills, I discovered that the law firm had re-located. I contacted one of my local solicitors who were able to find another registered address and phone number of the original law firm – it then came to light that the firm had actually closed down”.


Mr L continues: “I was then put in touch with Certainty the National Will Register and conducted a Will Register Search.  Unfortunately, our Wills had not been registered on the National Will Register but the staff at Certainty suggested I conduct a REACH Search instead.  This enabled me to search in up to three geographically targeted areas for Wills that have not been registered and would help me see if another Solicitor now held our Wills”. 

“The Certainty Will Search located a Will at a local firm in St. Albans – less than a mile away from where the original firm had re-located! I was quickly contacted by the firm. They asked me to provide a death certificate and a form of ID. Following this they confirmed that they held both mine and my Wife’s Will. It is comforting to know that I now know the location of my own Will and have the option to register it with The National Will Register to avoid the same situation occurring again.”

Registering your Will with Certainty – the National Will Register is very easy and in increasing in popularity.  In 2019, there were over 8.4 million Wills registered on the National Will Register system. 

Four Oaks Legal Services are proud members of Certainty and can help you register your Will with them

Please contact us for further details on 01543 440308.