11 May 2015
Archived Wills Now Available Online
Ever wondered what a famous person left in their Will, or just curious as to what your great, great, great grandfather had at the time of his death? Well, wonder no more as their Wills are just a click away.
The UK Government has now put all archived Wills online and for just £10 you can see what Princess Diana left in her Will, or Churchill's last wishes or even George Orwell's.
There are some wonderful insights into British history, including specific requests involving three mares and a donkey being left to a local church. There are also touching emotional stories like that of champion snooker player Paul Hunter who stated in his Will “to my unborn child I leave…” which shows he knew he was going to die before he ever met his daughter.
Princess Diana’s Will shows the £50,000 she left to her butler Paul Burrell, as well as her wishes for specific keepsakes including watercolours and a carriage clock. Certain items were to be distributed amongst her 17 godchildren, with everything else going to William and Harry. She also stated her wishes that Prince Charles was to refer to her mother with regard to the upbringing, education and welfare of the young Princes.
All Wills are public records once passed through probate, and before now you would have had to go to a local Registry Office or ordered a Will via post. Now you can read them online via gov.uk. For some, having a copy of a Will is a matter of sentimentality, for others pure curiosity.
A Will is a last chance to state exactly what you want to happen with your money and property after your death, which makes it a vitally important document. You can also put in requests for specific arrangements for disposal of your body or funeral. For example, Princess Diana stated that she wanted to be buried, and George Orwell asked that no memorial service be held after his death.
Requests that aren't to do with the estate of the deceased aren't legally binding, but it does give your family and loved ones an idea of what they should do next.
Your Will doesn't have to be lengthy and complicated, but it should set out clearly what you want to happen with your money and property. It's always better to have a legal professional help you write you Will then nothing can be misinterpreted after you're gone.
If you would like help writing your will, or legal advice about Wills and Probate, call our expert team of lawyers at Slater and Gordon. You can contact us on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we will call you.